Run around Australia's Andre Jones stops by Proserpine
FOR most people, completing just one marathon is a big enough challenge but for Andre Jones one is just a warm up.
The 57-year-old stopped at Proserpine on Tuesday, one of 219 town stays during his more than 15,000km run around Australia.
Leaving Melbourne on March 10, the self-confessed 'non-runner' is running and walking his way around the nation to raise funds and awareness for four charities; the GO Foundation, Beyond Blue, Royal Flying Doctor Service and The Smith Family.
Cruising into Proserpine after a 'light' 21km day, the retired Navy veteran was already 3273km into his journey, with more than three quarters of the way to go.
He's hoping to raise $60,000 - a dollar per kilometre for each of the four charities he's supporting.
By the time he arrived in Proserpine he'd raised $13,500.
Following a Melbourne to Darwin trek in 2017, raising funds for Beyond Blue, Mr Jones said he is well-versed in the physical and mental challenges his journey presents.
"The biggest challenge is the mental argument and mind games but in the end it all comes down to the fact that I chose to do this," he said.
"There are people out there who have no choice over the harsh circumstances they are in, but for me this is a choice, so I just keep going.
"I'm not a competitive person and I don't particularly enjoy running. I'm not a runner but I can do it, so here I am."
Completing the self-funded journey entirely solo, Mr Jones pushes a buggy, sometimes weighing up to 100kg, containing all his supplies and camping gear for when he tackles more remotes areas.
Mr Jones has received assistance along the way, such as discounted accommodation when he can.
For his night in Proserpine, the Whitsunday Palms Motel owner Rae Miller supported the runner's cause and donated a room for him. Mrs Miller said when she received an email about Mr Jones' trek she was happy to provide a place to stay.
"When I heard about what he was doing and that he was coming through Proserpine, I thought 'of course he can stay here', as I wanted to support the cause," she said.
"I was just thankful I had a room free because I almost forgot the date and if he had come a night before I was completely booked out."
Away from home for more than 340 days, the solo runner can always rely on a call from his wife Morag when times get tough.
"She likes to remind me if I was doing this for myself I would have stopped week one but I'm doing this for something bigger than me," said Mr Jones, who will continue running north to Palm Cove before heading west across Queensland.