Run to Better Days 2016

The Run to Better Days went from Mackay to Coolangatta on 8-22 July 2015.  We fundraised for The Against Malaria Foundation.

Runners and Presenters

– Toby Sen Gupta
– Simon Johnson
– Julian Pecora
– Matthias Wust
– Eliza Kurth
– Jack Boylan-Ascione
– Tarun Sen Gupta
– Carl Pinkstone
– Byron Thompson
– David Uprichard
– Courtney Woods
– Roisin Lyons
– Chris Pitcher
– Meghan Boon
– Laura Koefler


Following almost exactly the same trail that we did in 2015, our runners will wind our way down to the Gold Coast over 14 days.

Friday 8th July Mackay
Saturday 9th Lotus Creek
Sunday 10th Marlborough
Monday 11th Rockhampton
Tuesday 12th Gladstone, Miriam Vale
Wednesday 13th Bundaberg, Childers,
Thursday 14th Hervey Bay, Maryborough
Friday 15th Gympie
Saturday 16th Sunshine Coast
Sunday 17th Sunshine Coast
Monday 18th Brisbane
Tuesday 19th Brisbane
Wednesday 20th Brisbane
Thursday 21st Gold Coast – Coolangatta!
Friday 22nd Last day



Run to Better Days 2015

The Run to Better Days 2015 was different to what had come before it. In this year, we had 2 simultaneous RTBD teams: Queensland and New South Wales.  The Queensland Run was the classic event – running down the Queensland coast over 2 weeks from Mackay to Coolangatta.  Meanwhile, in Sydney, the team did a 50 km run in fancy dress to raise funds, and spoke to schools throughout the week.

Run to Better Days 2014

Runners and Presenters

– Tom O’Donohoe
– Daniel Charles
– Brenton Mayer
– Laura Koefler
– Matt Paltridge
– Michelle Ward
– Cosmo Dove
– Rosie Matthews
– Izzy Guthridge
– Laila Patel
– Peter McIntyre

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 5.01.02 pm


Throughout 2014’s event, our team of 15 students spoke to people from 12 schools, 14 community organisations, two universities and one youth group. As part of this, and with the help of Text Publishing, we were able to distribute 400 copies of Peter Singer’s ‘The Life You Can Save’ to interested people. Our runners ran around Port Philip Bay in Melbourne in just 24 hours, an amazing feat! We are very proud to announce that we were also able to raise approximately $20,000!10559681_618399438257287_6729238155241698494_n

This takes our collective efforts over the past three years to:
– >$50,000 raised
– > 20,000 people spoken to
– > 2,800 kilometers run
– 2,200 copies of The Life You Can Save given out

It is at this time that we would like to sincerely thank you all for your unwavering and dedicated support of our event – it has been truly overwhelming! A special mention must go to the John Flynn College, who were our gold sponsors this year.










Run to Better Days 201310411913_618399244923973_7893207923241262748_n

Runners and Presenters Runners Support Crew
– Daniel Charles
– Brenton Mayer
– Laura Koefler
– Matt Paltridge
– Caroline Roth
– Tom O’Donohoe
– Annabelle Chalk
– Rosie Matthews
– Izzy Guthridge
– Laila Patel
– Kelli Charles
– Nikki Charles
– Kenneth Koefler
– Jeydon Hardie
– Hannah Casswell
– Gabriella Springall
– Cosmo Dove
– Carl Pinkstone
– Glynis Mayer
– Lawrence Mayer
– Mike Charles
– Lou Charles

2013 map

Day 1. Mackay – Blue Mountain

We kicked the start of the Run off today with a very warm reception from Oscars on Sydney Cafe and Bar, in Mackay. It saw a very big day of media and a huge day of running. Despite the fact that it is actually winter, running today was HOT and we have hopes that the weather will cool down significantly as we travel down the coast. As it was the first day, things were a bit slow to kick off, and we realised that time is always going to be an issue, however we still dominated the required kilometres before the sun saw the end of our first day, despite getting lost and taking many wrong turns. Gab and Jayden conquered the Sarina range, a job which made the rest of the team tired just driving it in the car. It has been a big day of learning presentations, as well as getting to know the team and just generally having a mad time.


Day2.  Blue Mountain – Lotus Creek

Day two started early, with a five thirty AM start for car one, on a cool misty morning. Our day was made by one very generous supporter stopping our runners on the Marlborough road and offering a donation, which was very much appreciated. Once again, more and more kilometres were smashed out. The fatigue was starting to set in, as we came to the realisation that this running thing is actually a lot more challenging that we originally thought! Tragedy almost struck as we were very close to running out of petrol just outside of Sarina, but luck was on our side and we made it through another day!

Our roadside donation!

Our roadside donation!

Day 3 – Lotus Creek – Marlborough

Another early morning to be had, with another 5:30am wake up. Today was spent diligently learning presentations, to start being delivered to eager young students as of tomorrow, and fairly enjoyably completing the required kilometres for the day. Matt and Tom found inspiration as cow herders, and spent 10km chasing a fierce pair of escaped cows down the road. However, even this gruelling highway pursuit after an early morning start didn’t drain everyone of their energy, as raucous games of basketball were played well into the evening, before everyone bunkered down for the night at Cathedral College.

Day 4 – Marlborough to Rockhampton

As a safety precaution, today’s kilometres were completed running around Cathedral College oval which, in reminiscence of last year’s oval running, was completely saturated. However, this didn’t stop our dedicated team members from pulling off an impressive 25 laps each, and Carl and Gab outdoing everyone with 35 laps. Cathedral College students welcomed us for our first presentations which have kick started our information and awareness campaign. The day didn’t quite go off without a hiccup though, as we lost Paltridge and Rosie for a time when they struggled to find a Laundromat that was literally 100m down the road.

Day 5 – Miriam Vale to Bundaberg

is the official ‘Cray Cray’ day of the RTBD 2013, with a large number of both presentations to give and kilometres to run. Fatigue is setting in for many members of the team, resulting in a number of not so clever occurrences. Spanning a large part of the region today with presentations in Gladstone, Yepoon, Gin Gin and Rockhampton, was going to be tricky enough without cars getting lost and not taking the correct turn offs, but in the end everyone got where they needed to go. No thanks to issues with the trailer and some of the cars, or to some interesting conditions that almost had one car stuck in a ditch. But we made it through Cray Cray Tuesday to land safely in Bundaberg, which just so happens to be the home of the Bundy Rum factory – rather convenient!


Day 6 – Bundaberg to Torbanlea

Another day, another RTBD team member getting lost. This time the dubious honour goes to Izzy who managed to get lost on the way to Hervey Bay’s iconic pier. Kilometres were covered and a few rotary presentations were given throughout the day, before the team were rewarded with a nice comfortable stop over at the Charles household. There was a feast to be had and some serious relaxing to be engaged in and of course, an incredibly made wombok salad to be enjoyed by one and all. Mike, Lou and Nikki will be joining the team from here on, as the RTBD ventures further South than it has ever been before!

Day 7 – Torbanlea to Maryborough

Today’s priority was for the whole team to get a bit of a sleep in, as they all needed their beauty sleep for a big day, jam-packed with running, presentations and a number of media committments. Xavier Catholic College in Hervey Bay were once again very gracious hosts to our cause, staging an assembly and run-through in our honour. St Mary’s College in Maryborough have also been wonderfully receptive and have provided us with a very warm and comfortable place to sleep for the night.

Day 8 – Maryborough to Gympie

With a reasonably small distance to be covered today (90kms) and only one presentation to give, the team found themselves with the almost forgotten luxury of free time! These empty hours were filled with playing footy on the beach and witnessing some amazing sites at the sandblow. With all the running finished before 5pm, an early dinner was had, followed hopefully by an early night, in preparation for the action to start again tomorrow!

Day 9 – Gympie to Noosa

Day 10 – Sunshine Coast Rest Day

Day 11 – Noosa to Caboolture

Day 12 – Caboolture to Kangaroo Point

Day 13 – Kangaroo Point to North Gold Coast

Day 14 – North Gold Coast to Coolangatta

Run to Better Days 2012

Runners and Presenters Runners Support Crew
– Daniel Charles
– Brenton Mayer
– Laura Koefler
– Laila Patel
– Jess Hopgood
– Katrice Bulgarelli
– Tim Mettam
– Nicole Arthy
– Tamlyn Crozier
– Daniel Burns
– Nikki Charles
– Steve Cardell
– Grant Breadsel
– Andrew Lucy
– Rebecca Tuma
– Mike Charles
– Lou Charles
– Peter Harding
– Kelli Charles

2012 map

Day 1 – Hervey Bay to Childers – 70km

And we’re off! Our day started with the most wonderful send off from Xavier Catholic College in Hervey Bay. We were introduced on assembly, where the senior music class performed a fantastic rendition of our theme song ‘Better Days,’ and then we ran off through a guard of honour of Xavier students, who cheered us on and contributed very generously to our cause. Then Jess kicked us off running the first stint on the way to Childers. We stayed overnight in the hall at St Josephs Primary School, and dined on a delicious stew made by Mrs Freshwater before bunking down for a good nights sleep.


Day 2 – Childers to Rosedale – 100km

It was an early start for the RTBD team, with some runners heading off at 7am to start our journey for the day, while some of the team stayed behind to meet the students of St Josephs and present on their school assembly. We then had some very enthusiastic runners from the school join Tim for a run out of town (see below). The rest of the team made their way to Shalom College in Bundaberg where we watched Dan and Brenton’s Presentation to the year 11’s. When the weary runners joined us in Shalom College gym we enjoyed our lasagne dinner and a good ol’ team stretch before heading to bed to get a good night’s sleep before Crazy Thursday!

Tim and kids

Day 3 – Bundaberg to Gladstone – 120km

Day three saw the RTBD team rise bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5am to begin Crazy Thursday – a day covering 120km in distance and with 14 separate presentation commitments. The presenters all did a fantastic job and the remaining team members stepped up to cover the day’s distance, with help from the presenters later in the day. So we made it through Crazy Thursday, and were rewarded with an amazingly lovely dinner at Laura’s mum’s house in Boyne Island, just outside of Gladstone where the team shacked up for the night.

Day 4 – Gladstone to Rockhampton – 110km.

Sleep in day! Everyone enjoyed a nice long night’s sleep at Laura’s mom’s house, before the first lead of runners set off for the day. On the way we picked up the Gladstone paper to keep up to date with some of the media coverage and saw local celecrities Daniel Burns and Meg showcasing their fine running skills. We then made our way to The Cathedral School for more presentations and a run around the oval with a fantastic turnout from the school kids who joined us for a few laps, even through the rain and mud (see pictures below). The afternoon saw the team head up to Yeppoon for a lovely relaxing swim in the pool and a most amazing dinner courtesy of Nic’s Aunty and Grandma.


Day 5 – Rockhampton to Marlborough – 100km

The team had a tough run this morning, with some typical hot, humid North Queensland weather. As the stretch out of Rocky was deemed too dangerous, the team clocked up some km’s around the oval. After pulling out more than the required amount of km’s, we were rewarded with an afternoon off, which was spent at the movies, seeing ‘The Amazing Spiderman,’ in 3D, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Then another night spent playing basketball and enjoying some yummy spaghetti on our last night at The Cathedral College in Rockhampton.


Day 6 – Marlborough to Lotus Creek – 120km

This morning was another early one – the plan was to leave The Cathedral College at 6am to start running… However, higher powers intervened and it was not to be – just as the green car was all packed up and ready to head off, Nikki noticed a flat tyre . And it was soon discovered that the spare had a leak. Thus started our seemingly futile hunt to track down a new tyre at 6:30am in Rockhampton, on a Sunday. We managed to find a lovely man who gave up his Sunday morning so that we could get on the road again. However, upon hitting the road, we discovered that the road we were supposed to be running on was actually flooding in places, and thus we were strongly advised not to continue. So once again, alternative steps had to be taken, but the team enthusiastically made up the distance around Sarina and the showgrounds where we are residing for the next two nights. Along with 100 army personal and a whole lot of mud! The Lions club of Sarina provided us with a delicious dinner and the promise of bacon and eggs in the morning!

Day 7 – Lotus Creek to Sarina – 122km

Today’s run was from Lotus Creek to Sarina, and covered some of the prettiest scenery that the runners have yet had the pleasure of passing through… Lovely mountains, rainforests and untouched creeks were like something out of a movie. Unfortunately, the complication of the movie was that the bridge on route to Lotus Creek was nearly a metre under water (see picture), thus shortening the run-able distance. But the team stepped up to the plate once again and managed to rack up the km’s by running two at a time and making up the distance that couldn’t be run. Dan and Tam made an appearance at Tam’s old stomping ground Mirani High, and Brenton and Laura covered some other presentations in Mackay, as well as a very interesting radio interview… which was thoroughly enjoyed by the rest of the team back in Sarina.

Day 8 – Sarina to Mt Ossa – 83km

It was a bit of an easier day today in terms of distance to be covered, and a few of our injured runners got to run the nice, flat trek through Mackay itself, while the remainder of the team chilled at Mt Pleasant shopping centre, taking care of a few errands. While some of us initially got a shock when finding the old, cracked, very dilapidated scouts hall we thought we were staying in, we were pleasantly surprised to find that our actual home for the next two nights was a really nice and new Girl Guides hall, where we were being hosted by the Lions clubs of Mackay and surrounding districts. Dan, Tam and Brenton hosted a public presentation at CQU, with a particularly thought-provoking question time, and then the team all came together for a most wonderful dinner with the wonderful Lions representatives. Thank you Lions of Mackay and surrounding districts!


Day 9 – Rest Day!

Today, the team took a much needed break… Except for Dan, Dre and newbie Grant who don’t seem to understand the meaning of a rest day and went for a run/gym session when they didn’t have to. But the rest of us enjoyed a lovely day off exploring Mackay. There were a couple of presentation commitments to be covered, meaning that Tam and Katrice missed out on the sleep-in that the rest of the team thoroughly enjoyed, and Dan and Brenton missed the team lunch while speaking at Sarina High. But we came together again for yet another delicious dinner from the generous Lions representatives of Mackay, and another raucous game of Lunchbox. Looking forward to getting on the road again tomorrow, en route to Proserpine for the night.

Day 10 – Mt Ossa to Proserpine – 79km

Took a little bit to get started today after such a lovely rest day in Mackay the day before, but we quickly re-energised ourselves and hit the road. A few of the later runners – Tam, Katrice, Bec, Nic and Kel took the opportunity to visit the beach, and Katrice got her sand art on (see pic below). Then we slowly made our way to Proserpine, to discover our accommodation was a wonderfully spacious second floor of the Proserpine RSL. We were treated to an amazing dinner by Damian of the Proserpine Lions club, and enjoyed some of the most wonderful meals on the trip cooked for us by the wonderful chefs at the RSL.  We stayed up way too late again, listening to Drew playing some impressive piano music, and Brenton serenading us on the guitar, before finally hitting the hay for the night.

Day 11 – Proserpine to Guthalungra – 100km

It was Mike’s birthday today, and although he was still one of the first up and it was his job to rouse the rest of the team, they rewarded him with a sleepy rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ before hitting the road. The runners all had a great day and covered their required distances with ease. And then most of us got to chill at the beautiful Bowen for the best part of the day while others finished off their presentations and their running. We explored the beautiful Bowen beaches, the old pier, the famous pie shop and just wandered around the town enjoying the friendliness and laid-back atmosphere of the locals. Some of the team experienced a life changing sunset at Horseshoe Bay  and then we got to retire for the day at the Bowen PCYC, which was one of the team’s favourite accommodations to date. We also got the meet some young members of the PCYC who were throwing a concert next door and who came for a chat and a bit of a basketball shoot-off later in the night. All in all, a really amazing day. Not looking forward to it all coming to a close in the next few days…

Horseshoe Bay

Day 12 – Guthalungra to Home Hill – 56km

Day 13 – Home Hill to JCU Townsville – 100km