Run to raise awareness
TWO women are preparing to challenge their physical and mental capabilities in an effort to show others they can do the same.
Peter Project identity Sarah Bon will team up with Peta Vernon in May when they run from Bowen to Collinsville to raise awareness of suicide in the mining industry.
Leaving at 2am that day, the dynamic duo will run almost 80km (in about 16 hours).
"I'm always looking for new challenges, but in particular there seems to be a real gap in men not being able to feel they can reach out,” Ms Vernon said.
"A run such as this is mental struggle as much as a physical one. We want to show people that you can exercise and teach your mind to overcome it.”
The inspiration for the run comes after they had identified a need in the mining industry for more help and awareness.
After watching a friend's battle with suicidal thoughts, Ms Vernon notes that almost all the recorded suicides in the area over the last few years have been men.
Mrs Bon said many miners feel trapped in a cycle of financial pressure and doing what they need to do to get by.
"They're isolated, they go home from work and stare at four tiny walls until they go back to work,” she said.
"My nephew in WA told me he was sick of going to (the) funerals of friends who've taken their own life. He said I don't know what to do but something needs to be done.”
Conquering an immense task will be nothing new for the duo who have collectively overcome the Kokoda Trail and the Big Red Run through the Simpson Desert.
They said this challenge looms as the toughest they've encountered yet.
"We'll cry, we'll throw tantrums, it's going to be the challenge of the century,” Ms Vernon said.
"But it shows that your mind is powerful, and if you keep telling yourself you can do it you will.”
Donations can be made at the Peter Project Facebook page.