Long road to fundraising

Ben Bush. Photo: Shawn Smits.

By Jessica Micallef

Ben Bush is hoping to be Macedon’s very own marathon man.

The 42-year-old will on Sunday take part in his first Melbourne Marathon – a 42-kilometre run around Melbourne’s CBD.

It’s a big task for someone who only began running about 18 months ago.

“I really do enjoy it. It’s a great way to clear the head or fill the head,” Mr Bush said

“I didn’t know I enjoyed running until I turned around my attitude towards health and fitness. Now it’s something that is not a negotiable thing.”

Mr Bush participated in his first half marathon last year – the Run Melbourne event – and raised about $3000 for the Alannah and Madeline Foundation.

This year he wanted to go a step further and raise funds for an organisation that was close to his heart.

“I said to my sister-in-law ‘Why don’t I do a run to raise money for Down Syndrome Victoria’?” he said.

“My nephew has down syndrome and the organisation has been an unbelievable support … for my sister-in-law. My goal this year, which may or may not be realistic, is $10,000.

“It’s the least we can do. It’s one of those things that we can pitch in and help an organisation that since 1978 has helped countless amounts of people.”

To prepare for the marathon, Mr Bush has been running three times a week.

“From about 39 kilometres onwards, you can expect to hit what they call ‘the wall’ which is all the voices in your head telling you to quit. I’ve become pretty good at talking myself out of the wall. It’s just going to come down to where I am physically. I’m confident I can be in the right spot.”

Mr Bush said he hopes his marathon efforts encourage others to follow in his footsteps and make positive health changes. He has already had some feedback.

“I have been told by people that they have started going for regular walks or they have switched their diet around or they have cut back on the booze and for me that’s a really valuable thing,” he said.

“If you take me back two and a half years ago, on the couch, I would not have envisioned this. No one is more surprised than me. My kids now have a very different version of their dad. I am a happier person.”

To donate: bit.ly/2nEGi2K