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Long road ahead for charity runners

The countdown to the Mates 500 Relay 2012 has begun.

In just three days, six Manjimup runners will attempt to cover 1000km around the South West to raise money for the Regional Men’s Health Initiative and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

Tim Lyster, Paul Omodei, Heath East, Wayne Barnden, Mat Johnston and Anthony Stubberfield hope to raise $100,000 and are already on their way having made nearly $8000 during a fundraising launch at Manjimup Country Club on Sunday.

The runners even shaved their heads and waxed their legs in the quest for donations, along with an auction of sports memorabilia and a raffle at an ambrose golf event which attracted 64 players.

‘‘Former ABC sports broadcaster Glen Mitchell and Prostate Cancer Foundation speaker Paul Kelly gave some powerful speeches and got everyone thinking about regional men’s health,’’ Mr Barnden said.

‘‘The support from the community has been awesome. We’re really looking forward to getting started from Nannup on Saturday. It’s going to be tough but I’m sure we’ll make it through alright.’’

The Mates 500 relay will see the men each running 28km a day for eight days straight from Nannup through Northcliffe, Cranbrook, Dumbleyung, Kulin, Wagin and Kojonup. They aim to finish at the Warren District Agricultural Show on Saturday, March 17 at Rea Park in Manjimup.

Mr East said the group was getting mentally prepared, having spent the past few weeks training almost daily.

‘‘The weather will play a big part particularly out east where we haven’t been before,’’ Mr East said.

‘‘Last year we managed 500km in 3½ days so we know we can go that far but it will be around the day five mark where things will start to get really tough.

‘‘We’ll just have to take it day by day, kilometre by kilometre. At the end of the day the most important thing is to have a positive attitude.’’

Source: Manjimup Bridgetown Times

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