Soldier’s marathon mission for a good cause

HE will go down in history as one of Australia's bravest soldiers but in just a few months Ben Roberts-Smith will take on a new challenge.

The Victoria Cross winner has set his sights on the 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon, joining a Channel Seven team of "event ambassadors" in the 10km section of the August 30 event.

He says the event is all about challenging himself.

"The 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon has made a great contribution back to local community in the last three years and it continues to grow and develop into a world-class platform for people to engage in teams and achieve great social outcomes," he said.

"I would welcome people to challenge themselves, not just physically, but also to raise funds and awareness for the things they are passionate about."

After just three years, the annual 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon has established itself as one of Australia's most loved running festivals.

Up to 8000 runners are expected to take part in events including the marathon, half marathon and races over 10km, 5km and 2km along a beautiful course between Mooloolaba and Maroochydore.

Since it began, the 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon has poured more than $500,000 into local charities and community groups, with all this year's profits going to organisations such as Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Westpac Foundation and more than 70 worthwhile causes chosen by competitors.

Event director Jason Crowther said Ben Roberts-Smith was the perfect fit with the culture and values of the 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon and organisers were honoured to have his support.

"He continuously challenges himself to be the best he can be, not just physically, but for his family and his community," Mr Crowther said.

"While this event is a celebration of health and keeping active, it was born from a desire to give back to the community. Ben embodies this philosophy perfectly."

"This is a unique event in Australia. It is an internationally-recognised, AIMS-accredited course that offers fast times but it is also set on an incredible piece of coastline with a festival atmosphere for both participants and spectators alike.

"This year we expect to raise $250,000 for over 70 local charities and causes to add to the $500,000 previously raised."

Marathon entries can be made at http://www.sunshinecoastmarathon.com.au.


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