It turns out David Warner is not the only Aussie looking to leave a mark in a visit to our shores.
On Valentines Day, Nick Lawson set off from Cape Agulhas, the Southernmost tip of the continent, to begin his long trek to Ras ben Sakka, Tunisia. His goal? Run every day for the next year – barefoot.
Ideally, he will look to run a marathon (42km) every day, but much depends on whether or not he’s able to get support systems in place.
Under the project name of Run for Love 2018, his mission is to spread “global awareness for love” and hopes to breed enthusiasm in others to participate in movements and care about causes around the world.
“I’m doing it to spread of message of love and global unity,” he told the Mail & Guardian. “And I’m doing it because quite frankly I’m sick of all the hate, all the fear and all the terrorism. I just want to create a bit of a conversation and get people to think about loving themselves and loving each other.”
“Ideally, I would love for one person from every country to come and join me and raise money for a different charity.”
Why barefoot? Lawson says that one he just started running with no shoes and never looked back.
“It makes it a little more difficult obviously, but I think it also spreads a good message in lots of parts in Africa because there are many, many people that grow up wearing no shoes and running with no shoes. It spreads a good message of equality, we’re all the same. It’s not every day that they see a white person running through Africa with no shoes on. It brings down those borders that have been placed between us.
The full list of countries that he will run through are South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia.
The Sydney runner says that a month before he was set to begin his endeavour, the support team he had in place pulled out – upping his challenge. He now must not only rely on the assistance of others, but will have to restrict some of his running. On Wednesday, for instance, he was expected to only run 20km as he had to reserve time to hitchhike to Johannesburg.
What would he say to people that call him a crazie Aussie?
“I would understand why they say that!” he laughs. “It is quite crazy, I wouldn’t want anybody to do anything like this. I’m just doing this to inspire other people to A, love themselves, and B, help this world a little bit. It’s time to come together.”
To track Lawson’s progress, find out more information or support his cause, visit www.runforlove2018.com.