Marathon Man

June 14th, 2018
Marathon Man
Head coach and co-owner of Hilltop Crossfit in Mount Barker Russ Jarvis is undertaking a humongous challenge to fundraise for charity Bravehearts.

Russ will be one of a group of 15 people across Australia to run seven 42.2 km marathons in seven different states, in seven days.

Although already an experienced marathon runner, Russ said he has been training for three months in the lead up to the challenge.

“The longest I've ever done is 100km in one stint,” he said.

“I've been training to slowly increasing pace and we're lucky because we own a gym so that takes care of the strength and conditioning side of it.

“I'm feeling quietly confident because I've done enough marathons before to have experience and you have to have faith in your training.

“The atmosphere when you get there on the day helps too because it gives you an extra boost of adrenalin and energy.”

The Bravehearts foundation works to eliminate child sexual assault through education, training, research, reform and counselling.

“It's a couple of days of hurt for a great cause,” Russ said.

“It's always an uphill battle but educating people about child sexual assault is really important.”

With his fundraising goal of $10,000 already exceeded Russ said he is now aiming for $20,000.

“We have had a tiered sponsorship approach so far which raised about two thirds of the money, with the other third coming from individuals,” he said.

“It's a massive relief to have reached our goal because raising money is actually harder than training.”

“Our major donor was Eastbrook Vegetable Farms but we've also had National Tyre and Wheel, Apotex Australia, Better Back Chiropractic at Oakbank and Adelaide Hills Panelworks make big donations as well as a number of other small businesses.”

The idea to take part in the challenge came from Russ' close friend Patrick Shanahan.

“We met in the army and even though he lives in Queensland now we're doing it together pretty much,” Russ said.

“To be 100 per cent honest the idea sounded challenging and that was the initial inspiration but when we delved a bit deeper it became more about the cause than the running.”

“From our time in the army we have friends in pretty much every state who are going to come out and support us.”

Russ also said he could not have risen to the challenge without the support of his wife Victoria.

Patrick said he found the 777 marathon challenge originally through Facebook and that it struck a chord with him because he has two daughters.

“We've seen a lot of media coverage of serious incidents of sexual assault and I want to help educate my kids and others,” he said.

“Hopefully other parents can have these serious conversations with their kids and if they need help they can go to Bravehearts for ways to make a more comfortable environment so they can educate their kids.”

The friendship between Patrick and Russ made them the perfect pair to take on the challenge and cause together, according to Patrick.

“We've always been very close and really we've been preparing for this for 15 years – since we met,” Patrick said.

“We've taken on every challenge together and there are not many others who could do the training and make the commitment like Russ can.

“It's an opportunity to make some great memories with a great mate and for a good cause.

“It is certainly becoming quite scary as it gets closer but that always goes away once you start and we're keen to get some kilometres under our belts.”

Patrick has also exceeded his target of $10,000 and said he was “super stoked”.

To support Russ and the Bravehearts foundation visit

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