How Cameron ran 300km for a good cause

Cameron hasn’t always been a big runner. But after cancer made a big impact on his life, he decided to take on a big challenge to raise funds for Cancer Council.

Inspired by another fundraiser he saw online, Cameron set himself a target: to run a whopping 300km throughout August.

“I wanted it to be something challenging,” Cameron, a first year commerce student at Melbourne University, said.

“I also wanted it to be something that might inspire other people a bit. My aunty just passed away from cancer, so I thought I could do that and raise money for cancer.”

Cameron’s Aunty Claire had recently died of breast cancer at the age of 48. Wanting to raise funds for Cancer Council, Cameron set himself a goal of $500.

It didn’t take him long to hit his target.

“It was phenomenal – we raised $500 in the first two hours after posting it to social media,” Cameron said. “It was honestly astonishing. I wasn’t expecting it at all!”

While the fundraising got off to a flying start, the physical side of Cameron’s challenge wasn’t quite as easy in the first few days. Having typically only run around 4km a year in his high school cross country, stepping up to 10km a day was no easy feat.

On top of worrying about the distance, coronavirus restrictions had imposed a time limit of just one hour’s exercise each day, forcing Cameron to keep an eye on the clock as well.

But luckily, the 18-year-old soon found his stride.

“Going 10km a day was pretty tough for me,” Cameron said. “But luckily I’ve got some really knowledgeable mates who are really elite athletes giving me tips on recovery.

“I did want it to be something challenging, and it started off hard but got a bit easier. But by the end I was absolutely knackered!”

Having run one or two extra kilometres some days, Cameron was able to finish on the last day of August with an easy lap around the local oval. His family watched the last of his epic efforts and set up streamers for him to run his final steps through in celebration.

By the end of August Cameron had raised more than $1,600 in honour of his Aunty Claire – an extraordinary effort which went well past his initial target.

He hopes the money can now do some good for people affected by cancer.

“Any bit helps, so I hope it goes where it’s needed most,” Cameron said.

And as well as doing a wonderful thing to help work towards a cancer free future, Cameron’s fundraiser may have found him a new hobby- which he recommends others to consider taking up too.

“Running is a great thing to do as a fundraiser, but also for mental health and physical health,” he said. “Especially currently, it’s very easy to get in the habit of sitting and becoming stagnant, so it’s great for you to get out into fresh air.”

Cameron said the running helped him while struggling to make the step up to university study from high school, helping him clear his head and take time out from everyday stress.

He enjoyed it so much that he even thinks he might do another fundraiser in the future.

“I had so much fun doing it. There are so many positives – you get more energy, so many benefits for your health, and you’re doing it for a good cause as well.”

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