SIX months of training will come to an end on Sunday morning when local resident Brad Sobott finally takes off on a 42.2km "awareathon" from the Whitsunday Coast Airport to Airlie Beach.
At 5am Mr Sobott will set off from the airport's arrival gates on a run he hopes will bring more flights to the Whitsunday coast. The purpose of the "awareathon" is to raise funds for a marketing incentive to encourage the re-instatement of direct flights between Melbourne or Sydney and the Whitsunday Coast.
"I'm really pleased I started this because I've learned a lot about what happens in trying to arrange for flights to come to town," Mr Sobott said.
"I've also learned how much hope people hold in getting more tourists back into town and how important it is for the local economy here as a whole. If my little contribution of dressing up and training for the run helps in a small way to get the flights back to Proserpine then it's a win for everybody," he said.
"Getting the flights here is one thing, but making sure they're successful and have bums on seats is the bigger picture and that's what these funds are for."
Mr Sobott, who says he has probably run "a bit over 1000kms in training", averaging about two hours a day, six days a week, hopes to finish the "awareathon" in under four hours with a grand finale including an auction and a raffle to be held at Capers at around 9am.
Whitsunday Coast Airport business development manager Scott Waters said he was really supportive of the "awareathon", which demonstrated a high level of community support that is helping to build the business case.
"it also shows how the community is 100 per cent behind growth, which is something we need to start achieving for the region overall," he said.
Mr Waters will form part of the "awareathon" entourage on Sunday morning and is urging local residents to come along.
"We'll be there at 5am and we'd love to see anybody who would like to come down to the Airlie Beach Hotel at around 9am - or in fact anywhere along Brad's route - to honk their horns and give him some support."