The idea of running a marathon can be a daunting one. It takes months of conditioning and training with daily dedication to diet and recovery. It’s not a challenge one can take lightly.
For Cootamundra library’s Rochelle Nichols, a marathon is one of 100 legs on her journey to complete an incredible 100 marathons in 100 days.
Rochelle will begin her challenge on 1 April and finish on 9 July. Throughout her journey she will visit Cootamundra, Coolamon, Wagga, Harden, Gundagai and many other towns across the Riverina.
The challenge of completing 4200 km has been months in the making with lots of early mornings and a diet consisting of 5000 calories a day. Despite the trials and tribulations, Rochelle has taken it in her stride as she looks to raise $42,200 or $10 a kilometre for the Black Dog Institute.
“You can never fully prepare yourself for a challenge like this one,” said the ultramarathon veteran.
“I have to make sure I’m looking after myself physically and mentally; making sure I am sleeping the required eight hours a day is really important as well as eating enough to stay on top of the physical requirements of running super long distances.
“During the run, I will be looking to eat nearly every 20 minutes, things like muesli bars, lollies, things that can keep my energy up.”
The Black Dog Institute is an organisation close to the hearts of Rochelle and her family.
In 2020 her partner tragically took his own life and the tragedy led Rochelle to be a voice for those struggling with mental illness.
“When you lose someone to suicide, it’s like you’d give everything you possess for just one more moment with that person, to tell them how loved they are.
“I know running 4200 kms won’t bring him back, but if my journey can prompt even one person who is struggling to reach out for help, to not make that decision then everyone of those four million steps will be worth it.”
Rochelle’s Facebook page Run Ride Read Like A Girl has attracted over 600 likes and details her preparation for the upcoming and ongoing trek.
“As an experienced ulltramarathon runner, I am aware of the hurt and the pain that will come my way from running that far each day,” she said.
“I have put a lot of work into making sure I am as prepared as I can be, I have been doing smaller runs, swims and other related activities in the lead up and I will be posting frequent updates of my runs to my social media.”
Rochelle has just passed $6000 over her $42,200 target and although she is grateful for the donations raised so far, she is determined to continue raising funds for her cause.
“I am so grateful for my sponsors who have donated so far, their donations really do help and contribute to raising awareness and support of mental health.”
To donate to Rochelle’s cause visit here.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), or the digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.
If you are concerned about suicide, living with someone considering suicide, or bereaved by suicide, the Suicide Call Back Service is available at 1300 659 467.