#worldmentalhealthday - There isn’t a more fitting time than today to share the story of Kieron Douglass. He is a man who displays passion, determination and loyalty towards all aspects of his life. By completing some unbelievable endurance runs over the years, he has managed to make a massive difference in raising awareness for those affected by mental health issues. Here is a brief insight into the life of Kieron…
“I have always enjoyed running for as long as I can remember walking. I loved the school running carnivals however back then I think the furthest I had run was maybe 400-800m. I had always looked at myself as a sprinter cringing at the thought of cross country. But by the time I got into high school I soon realised I wasn't exactly as fast as I once thought... I had gone from coming 1st and 2nd to 4th and sometimes 5th. So I decided to give cross country a go. A month or so before the school cross country I had faced quite a tough challenge at home that had been building for years but something that had been in the back of my mind was in fact the up and coming cross country. I just wanted to run. Unfortunately around this time I didn't own one pair of running shoes. Sprinting you could run bare foot being grass but cross country was a different story. I had been wearing these big black Doc Martin type boots to school and at a time where buying milk or bread became a struggle, buying running shoes was out of the question. I remember being quite upset the morning of the cross country, I went to school with red eyes from crying, I was angry and completely embarrassed and so I decided not to run. READY SET..... BANG!!! The gun went off and I sat there watching each and every kid run out of the school gate... it was in that moment I thought to myself 'F it' and I ran as fast as I could to catch them. Boots and all. There was this one kid I really wanted to beat, Michael McIntyre who I could see was leading... I just remember sprinting and feeling every step as the boots begin to rub on my heels. I could feel the blisters starting to form and I hadn't even run 1km yet. I didn't catch Michael McIntyre but I did come 4th and that my friend was my first ever running challenge. It played a big part into who I am today...
After an amateur boxing career and a bit of time spent playing Rugby League I decided to take running back up just for a bit of fitness... not really running anything over 6-10km's. I thought was huge back then haha. Growing up I had experienced a lot of mental health challenges and so I had developed as a kid this great urge and want to help kids who were also going through mental health challenges and it wasn't until maybe 5 years ago when I was scrolling on Facebook that a friend of mine had shared a post about a children's Tv program called Juiced Tv that was trying to launch at the Queensland Children's Hospital in Brisbane. It was a program for the kids of the hospital, hosted by the kids of the hospital which blew my mind and they were seeking funding to make it happen. So I straight away sent a message to the founder/creator/producer Pip Russell who was previously the host of Totally Wild and Toasted Tv and I said to her 'I don't know how to help but I want to help, leave it with me'. I rattled my brain all night trying to think of something I could do to help raise a bit of money so that this program can forever put smiles on kids faces. I went to sleep.... and it hit me at 2am in the morning. I woke up my wife and I said 'I'm going to run' and she said 'what, go to sleep' and I said 'I'm going to run from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast to raise money for Juiced Tv' my wife patted me on the head and said go to sleep haha. And so I bought a pair of good running shoes and I ran from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast.
Every year since I have been doing big running challenges raising money for Juiced Tv. I have run 100km on a treadmill non-stop, 208km straight run around Brisbane City and last November I ran 302km straight run around Brisbane City. I also run the Bridge to Brisbane 5km and 10km with children from the hospital dressed as a different superhero each year. This November I will again be running for Juiced Tv/Ch9 Telethon Running 100km Backwards around the UQ running track in Brisbane. 'Yes, BACKWARDS' ha!.
Having dedicated the last 4-5years running for sick kids, I decided to enter the recent Nerang 200 Miler (320km) trail race for a bit of personal reason. I have faced many challenges growing up including one that nearly ended my life as a teenager. If that couldn't kill me... nor could 200 Miles haha. The human body is capable of doing some incredible things and after every run it leaves me wondering what else it can do. It's such an exciting thought."
#whywerun #infinitepossibilities #fractelrunning