Running Shoes: Another Mile with Australia’s @TheWoundedPelicans

You may remember my interview from 2016 with the one of a kind Wounded Pelicans from Australia. In that interview, Tofes & Ant – distance runners among many other athletic titles – aimed to run several, several endurance events to raise 20,000 AUD for the Queensland Cancer Council. They may have seemed crazy at the time, but…believe it or not…they did it! How? An ungodly amount of miles and crazy feats that included daffodil costumes, running on treadmills for 24 hours…

When I first interviewed these two mates (I’m going to pretend I can have an Aussie accent and say “mates”), I thought 2016 would have done them in. Apparently, I was wrong! Catching up with Tofes and Ant, who live on Australia’s Gold Coast, was even more inspiring than I expected.

 

Backtrack a bit, though: According to Tofes and new found member to the Pelicans, Coden, 2016 was a year of triumphs as well as some hardships. The boys are not exempt from injuries, but in the words of Tofes, “We just strap [our injuries] up and move on. Ant unfortunately suffered an ankle injury during a downhill time trial, but his passion and drive to help others through racing has kept him going. “He doesn’t want to be prevented from running races and just complete 45 out of 52 races,” said Tofes.

 

In addition to running so many awesome events, Tofes and Ant also tried their hand at race directing and organized a beach race. Even though there were some hiccups with paper copies of the results, everything worked out at the end, and 120 participants had a wonderful time running!

They plan to organize a goose chase – and if you’re American, that likely makes you think of geese running…but it isn’t. Participants will be given minimal information and are expected to complete a journey carrying heavy weights, swimming in rough waters, and more. It seems similar to our OCR (on steroids).

The two plan to make 2017 an even bigger year and raise even more money to benefit a variety of charities and causes. While their schedule includes less events (a total of 10), the events are very taxing, challenging, and time consuming. “Unlike the events like marathons, most of these events are going to take a week to complete,” said Tofes, noting that he hopes to run from Brisbane to Sydney and bike back (1000 k or 600 m each way).

Take a look at some of their amazing line up, all to benefit others:

  • The world’s highest ultra-marathon on Mt. Everest, which involves a hike to Base Camp followed by running 62 k.
  • 24 hours of straight running around a track, and I don’t mean a relay! Both Tofes and Ant will run around a track for 24 hours.
  • Speak Out Project to draw awareness to depression: The boys will be thrown onto an island off the coast, with some very dangerous creatures, and will have to work to find their way back.
  • Amputee/Blind Running Project: Tofes and Ant know many people in the running community who are amputees, including someone who is a stunt double for the new Patriots Day film about the Boston Marathon bombings. After witnessing this amazing person complete a half ironman just 8 months after her leg was amputated, Tofes and Ant want to do what they can to give back, such as designing events and promoting awareness any way they can.
  • High Altitude Chamber: The two plan to put themselves in a high altitude chamber and be studied by doctors and psychologists to better understand the effects on the mind and body.

When it comes down to it, though, the boys don’t want the focus to be on them. “Youth is something that means a lot to the three of us,” said Coden. “We want to change the mindset of the kids to be the full best of themselves for whatever they want to be.”

As the year unfolds, you can keep up with Tofes and Ant on their blog: The Wounded Pelicans. You can also follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

I can’t wait to see what they do this year, and I know they’ll achieve every goal they set! Looking forward to hearing all about 2017 – best of luck from See Court Run and Bold Speed Ahead, LLC!

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