JUST three months ago Josh Ferguson had barely run around a block. Now he’s clocking up distances that would give ardent marathoners a run for their money.
The Class of 2021 graduate is so committed to his newfound passion he is preparing to run “at least a marathon’’ around a local park this Sunday to raise money for Mobilise, the same homeless charity that inspired Nedd Brockmann to run 4000km from Cottesloe Beach to Bondi Beach in 46 days.
After Brockmann’s well-publicised cross-country heroics – which raised $1.85 million for Mobilise – Josh took to Oval 1 in Mills Park in Beckenham and hasn’t stopped.
“After I saw Nedd do his thing, I thought ‘I’m going to run’. I did 7km on November 17 and it was really, really hard. But afterwards it was an unbeatable feeling, both mentally and physically,” he says.
“I could hear the birds chirping and feel the wind blowing and I got addicted to that feeling. The next day I ran 5km and built up from there. Then, on December 17, exactly a month after my first run and the day before my 19th birthday, I ran 25km.’’
Josh hasn’t deviated from Mills Park’s 800m-long footpath, where he aims to complete at least 50 laps on Sunday. Mills Park is also home to his beloved footy club, Kenwick Football Club, where he played in juniors since Auskick, and the seniors since leaving school.
About 100 people, including many SNC friends, are expected to turn out to watch and/or run alongside him throughout the Run With Me challenge, with the footy club opening up out of season to provide food and drinks.
Josh will wear his limited-edition Nedd Brockmann “Neddgend’’ T-shirt, which his mates chipped in to buy for his birthday after he caught the running bug.
Now a personal trainer after completing a Certificate IV in fitness, Josh says he is just getting started on the track. “After three months I completed my first-ever marathon in under four hours (3h, 58min), but I’m just getting warmed up,” he says. “On March 12, I’m going to break all expectations of what’s possible.
“I’ll run from 10am to 4pm with some short, two-minute or so, breaks for food etc. My goal is to get as far as I can in six hours.
“I’m aiming for a 50km minimum on Sunday – at around 5.45 minutes per kilometre.
“If I don’t have a smile on my face, I’m doing it wrong. It’s something I should enjoy.’’
Josh wants to raise $10,000 for Mobilise – and encourages the SNC community to head to Mills Park and join him for part of the run.
“I’ll be extremely excited to see everyone down there continuing to support me and to push themselves, too,” Josh says.
“I feel like Mobilise is an effective charity to give money to. You know where the money is going and Nedd Brockmann ran for that same charity.’’
A 100km triathlon in Busselton in April followed by the Busselton Iron Man are next, but there’s also another important box on Josh’s bucket list.
“My goal in the next five years is to do something big enough that Nedd Brockmann wants to meet me, rather than it being the other way round,’’ he says.
- All the details about Sunday’s event are below: