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Manjimup runners look to conquer 1000km

SIX mates, 1000 kilometres.

That is the challenge six Manjimup locals have set themselves as the Mates 500 Relay takes shape again this year.

Last year Tim Lyster, Heath East, Anthony Stubberfield, Mat Johnston, Wayne Barnden and Paul Omodei ran 500 kilometres through the South West and Great Southern and this year have upped the workload to run 1000km – all to raise awareness of regional mens’ health.

They will run through 22 towns and 16 WA shires raising funds for the Regional Men’s Health Initiative and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

The six participants, who are all actively involved in the Lower South West Football League (LSWFL), initially planned the event as a one off leadership challenge to inspire the best players from the LSWFL to make themselves available for the Landmark Country Football Championships team.

The inspiration to turn the run into an annual event came from the group’s desire to help further promote the importance of health and wellbeing to men in regional areas after raising more than $58,000 in 2011. “The committee and runners are excited with the opportunity to extend the awareness of mens’ health issues into rural areas outside the area they live in,” Mates 500 Relay chairman Paul Omodei said.

Men’s health forums and functions, which were hosted each night of the 2011 event, will also be held at a number of regional WA towns during the 2012 relay.

Regional Men’s Health Initiative community educator Owen Catto said since the Mates 500 Relay last March, Regional Men’s Health had seen its message about blokes being proactive about their health and wellbeing and looking out for their mates hit home.

“There has been an influx of people ringing in for community education sessions, personal assistance and advice regarding their mates,” he said.

The Mates 500 team, consisting of farmers, tradies and professionals, will jog out of Nannup at 5am Saturday, March 10 and run an average of 28 kilometres each day until they cross the finish line in their hometown at 6pm on Friday, March 16, 2012.

To follow the run or to donate go to or Facebook – Mates 500 Relay.

Source: Farm Weekly

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