Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Been a long time since an update

August in 2013 seems such a long time ago. Three half marathons in three weeks seems like an eternity ago and given my recent physical escapades it is an eternity away. I’d struggle to punch out 5kms right now and that’s not because I’ve been lazy.

Here’s an update on what’s been happening.

Soon after the half marathons I headed to Sri Lanka for a month long holiday, visiting amazing National Parks and stunning World Heritage Listed areas (eight on one small island!!) Given every day was 80% humidity and in the mid 30’s (about mid 90’s Fahrenheit), there was no running involved. As soon as I got back I was off to central Australia on secondment. Yep, I’ve been in the arid desert region for the last six months working for the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council. An Indigenous Not-For-Profit organisation that is run by twelve indigenous women from the NPY Region (where Northern Territory, West Australia and South Australia meet). Needless to say temperatures in the 40’s (over 100 Fahrenheit) every day and close to no humidity (so dry, dry, dry) is not the environment to be training for marathons. I have managed a few small runs up here and can tell you it takes a lot out of you, even at 6.30am before the sun has real bite.

Alice Springs Australia Day Fun Run

The work I have been doing up here for the Women’s Council covers the people who live in a 375,000 square kilometre region, with 6,000 inhabitants in 26 communities. To call these places “remote” is probably an understatement, some people travel for 12 hours to get to a meeting in Alice Springs. As one remote worker explained – to go to “town” and buy supplies is like driving from the North to the South of France (just to go to the shop!!!).

My time here is nearly done and I return to Melbourne for the long Labour Day weekend, where training for another run will begin again in earnest. I am returning to the indigenous lands for a Festival in late March but this time it is a fleeting visit.

Some famous rock at sunset

Since my last update the funds from my various affiliations have been donated to Neuroscience Research Australia and $218.41 has been donated to them from all my income from my various blogs.

I am now moving to a new charity and from 1 March 2014 until at least the end of the year I will donate all income to the NPY Women’s Council, so keep buying books, vouchers, gear etc. by using the ads on my blogs.

This leads me to a brand new affiliation I have managed to secure. Later this week you will begin to see ads from Litbreaker in my templates. They are specifically an ad network linking brands, publishers, magazines and other literary advertisers to content publishers. Again, all income this new affiliation brings will be donated straight to charity (the NPYWC for the remainder of 2014). So if you see an interesting article or product on my blogs, click through, it won’t cost you anything but it will generate advertising income that will help others.
Mt Gillen in Alice Springs - that was a climb!

I’m hoping to put in place another fund raising activity for the NPYWC before the year is out, it’s just a case of working out the best event, best way to raise funds, greatest coverage I can get etc. before I announce anything.

If you’re interested in the work that this wonderful organisation does in remote central Australia, you can read more at the website http://www.npywc.org.au/