By Cam Lucadou-Wells
What a way to turn 60.
In a feat of incredible endurance, Noble Park North’s Adrian Bol ran seven beach marathons in seven consecutive days.
That’s 296 kilometres of running over about 50 hours.
Not only that but he completed the challenge in seven states and territories.
Meaning that during his precious recovery time between runs, he spent a total 18 hours in a plane.
In driving rain, a euphoric Emerson School teacher completed the final leg on his training beach Bonbeach on Wednesday 12 June.
His efforts are raising hopefully at least $10,000 for Foodbank – which supplies a weekly breakfast club for up to 20 students at his school.
Still on a high the next day, Mr Bol said he’d perhaps defied science. But it showed that with meticulous training and diet, the seemingly impossible can be achieved.
“I don’t think this has ever been done before.
“I found more than I think I had.
“Until you think outside the square, you’ll never know what you’re capable of.
“I feel a different person already.”
For the past 30 years, Mr Bol’s run beaches – though usually in spurts of 5-10 kilometres.
In preparation for the challenge, he stepped up training for 17 gruelling months. Before school, he’d front for runs at Bonbeach at 3am.
He focused on his body being able to recover faster to be able to run marathons after marathons.
“At first it was horrendous. I’m not an elite athlete but I was training like one.”
The hardest of his series of marathons was the first in Darwin.
“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through.
“And then each marathon takes a toll because you’re not recovering fully. You’re carrying some of each marathon as you progress.
“The mental side kicks in when your body has had enough.
“It’s just pushing it, going and going and going … knowing you’re doing it for a very good cause, making the world better.”
Mr Bol hopes that this inspirational effort will leave a legacy of health-mindedness.
“I wanted to send a message to get people inspired to get active, to plan and to set goals just like I’ve done.
“I wanted to show kids and young adults that if I can do it, others can do it too.”
Mr Bol was born for a battle. As a new-born, he overcame a battle with pneumonia.
Then came bronchitis, then asthma.
He feels he’s still “rehabbing” his body from sports niggles for the past 30 years.
“As you get older it’s more difficult to do the things you always wanted to do.
“But they shouldn’t stop you – it’s all in the mind.”