Doing average things is boring, but doing something where others benefit is personally satisfying. This sentiment perfectly captures the spirit of Mark and Brian Upton, the father and son duo, who recently participated in the Bravehearts 777 Marathon, a remarkable event aimed at raising awareness and funds for the protection of children against sexual abuse. In this post-event report, Brian Upton shares their experiences and highlights the significance of their journey.
“The primary motivation behind our participation was simple and powerful. We wanted to join a group of like-minded individuals in working towards a world where communities, people, and systems unite to safeguard our children from abuse. Running 7 marathons in 7 days across 7 states was undoubtedly a personal challenge, but the profound “Why” behind our efforts provided the drive and motivation to achieve our goals.
The core objective was to promote awareness and protection against child sexual abuse. The Bravehearts 777 Marathon, now in its 10th year, has raised over $2.2 million in the previous 9 years. Together, we were determined to contribute as much as we could to support Bravehearts in their vital mission.
While extensive training prepares you physically, there are certain aspects that cannot be anticipated. Delayed flights, late-night arrivals, and less than 5 hours of sleep each night presented additional challenges. Yet, we embraced these hurdles, recognising that they would only make the journey more demanding and impactful.
The harsh cold weather in Launceston and Canberra, with temperatures dropping to minus 2 degrees, tested our resilience. On day 5, when we reached Canberra, our bodies were already fatigued. However, the unwavering support of family proved to be our greatest source of strength and stability throughout this incredible endeavour.
A significant boost of confidence came when our three grandchildren, Harrison, Gracie, and William, joined us for parts of the marathon in Sydney and Canberra. We express our heartfelt gratitude to them for running at least 7 kilometres each day and continuously supporting and cheering everyone on. Their presence exemplified the importance of family unity and the shared commitment to protect our children.
The culmination of the marathon took place on the seventh day at the Gold Coast Marathon, where thousands of participants and spectators gathered to cheer everyone on. The weather was typically Gold Coast, with a beautiful day that embraced us and made the experience even more remarkable. The overwhelming local and family support spread throughout the marathon created an unforgettable atmosphere.
The final moments of the marathon were emotional and fitting, symbolising the end of an incredible week. Mark and I are immensely grateful to everyone who generously donated to our Bravehearts link, allowing us to achieve a remarkable total of over $40,000 for the cause. The Bravehearts 777 Marathon stands as a testament to the exceptional organisation by Bravehearts, and they should be proud of the awareness it generates.
It was an honour and privilege to be part of this year’s event, especially sharing the journey with Mark. Looking ahead, we are thrilled to announce that we will participate in the 2024 marathon, driven by the same noble reasons: to educate, empower, and protect our children. The experience has further ignited our passion to make a lasting impact and contribute to a safer future for all.”
In conclusion, as we reflect on the incredible journey of Mark and Brian Upton in the Bravehearts 777 Marathon, we take great pride in supporting their cause. Lacey Group has been a proud advocate and supporter of their efforts, recognizing the importance of protecting children from abuse. We stand alongside the Upton’s in their mission to educate, empower, and protect, and we will continue to champion initiatives that contribute to a safer world for our children. Together, let us work towards creating a future where communities, people, and systems unite to safeguard the well-being of our most precious asset – our children.