Heather’s Marathon Challenge

After conquering the biting cold of the North Pole in 2015 to win the woman’s division of the world’s most unique marathon, Coogee clubbie Heather Hawkins has set her sights on her most difficult challenge yet.

The proud surf lifesaver will be flying the red and yellow flag when she tackles the World Marathon Challenge, a grueling race of 7 marathons, taking place on 7 continents, and in only 7 days!

Beginning on January 23 in Antarctica, participants will run the 42 kilometre course on the Union glacier, before flying to, and running in Punta Arenas (Chile,) Miami (USA), Madrid (Spain), Marrakesh (Morocco), Dubai (UAE), and in a boost for Heather and all her supporters, the last leg of this extraordinary adventure will be run in Sydney.

Throughout the journey competitors will endure a variety of climatic conditions including temperatures ranging from as low as -20 degrees Celsius through to the mid-30s, face running all hours during the day and night and of course bravely battle the inevitable fatigue.

Each race is expected to take at least 6-8 hours with a key factor being how well the competitors are able to manage the travel and recovery times.

Heather’s preparation started in September with a taxing schedule all the way to the end of December, when her preparations were hampered by a dose of the flu. Now feeling much better Heather feels that most of the hard work has been done and she just wants to get the race started.

It’s hard to believe that her running journey began only a few short years ago. “I am looking forward to the challenge of this event especially running 294 kilometres in just 168 hours . Three of those marathons are within 36 hours of each other in three cities and in three different countries. That will be where my focus and strength will really be tested.

So what motivates the cancer survivor to keep pushing her body to the limit and take on these extreme conditions?

“For me running has become a passion. I genuinely love pushing my boundaries and achieving things outside the norm. It has also given me a great opportunity to create a greater awareness on issues that are important to me.

“During my run in the North Pole I was able to raise awareness about cancer and also about lifesaving by talking to people and proudly flying the colours.

“I just feel incredibly fortunate to have so much support from within the lifesaving family,” she said.

With the last leg of her marathon journey being in front of family and friends a sea of red and yellow is anticipated to welcome her home.

Follow Heather's journey via her Marathon Adventure Facebook Page

Photograph - Heather Hawkins models the gear that took her to the North Pole Marathon in 2015

Fri 15 Jan 2016