If you live on the Gold Coast and enjoy a spot of running (or even if you don't!), you would have undoubtedly heard of the incredible initiative from Jake Malby (aka Forest Goat) as he pledged and successfully managed to complete a marathon a day throughout the month of August to raise awareness for mental health and funds for our LIVIN Organisation and our LIVINWell Schools Program.
Last Saturday, at the end of his incredible journey as hundreds stood with him on Burleigh Hill, Jake admitted some days had been tough both physically and mentally. "Some days were much harder than others each struggle is different in its own way, but you always gotta keep on fighting." Said Jake. "The days when I was hurting really bad I was able to draw from the strength of so many incredible human's from all ages, all walks of life and some who had never run a marathon before joining me, every day on every run."
Ten-year-old Sahara Foster and her eight-year-old sister Kiana, joined their Dad Simon on their bikes to support Jake and managed to complete the entire 42 kilometers. "I wasn't sure they would last the whole distance, but they did and they loved every minute of it." said Simon a long-distance runner who had already ran with Jake previously in memory of the loss of his best friend. "Five years ago my best mate, my 'go-to' man, my brother, that I could turn to for anything, that man that would do anything for anyone - that guy that would always ask you if you were okay, lost his battle to mental illness. My life changed when I received that phone call."
"The eleventh of August when I ran a marathon with Jake, was for Troy but now I understand it was for me too."
Part of Jakes incredible Project 31 initiative was that each day he dedicated a marathon to someone who ran who either ran with him, inspired him or in their memory.
"Every day the miles shared with new and old people, every day a new conversation was sparked." Said Jake as he reflected on his journey. "Everyday the legends in the Gold Coast community made this project something super special to me. Everyday I ran for all of you strong individuals that can't yet speak. Everyday of physical pain for me was hopefully taking away the emotional pain of someone out there. Everyday I wore my LIVIN gear with pride knowing It Ain't Weak to Speak."
Whilst the fundraising efforts of Jake's initiative through his Everyday Hero Page have blown us away, nothing compares to the positive and powerful impact that Jake has made on not only the entire Gold Coast community but those who supported and watched his journey through social media and supported him every step along the way.
Thank you to all those that supported Jake in whichever way you could; thank you to all those that ran and shared their story; thank you to Spida, Bridge and the team at 92.5 Gold FM, thank you to the Gold Coast and online community for rallying behind him and to the legend himself Jake, whom like all of our selfless fundraisers, we can not thank enough for your incredible support and sharing a journey that inspired so many.
Photo Creds: Darcy Swain and Tom Norton