A marathon effort

    Riverton Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Jeremy Raines (second left) was joined at the station by family and friends on Friday for the Marathon for Mental Health event he spearheaded.

    IT all started as a crazy idea from a cousin.

    The idea grew into a full-blown, 24-hour marathon for mental health which started at the Riverton Volunteer Fire Brigade station at 4pm on Friday and finished at the same time the next day.

    Riverton chief fire officer Jeremy Raines said the concept, to run 42km in laps around the street, starting every hour on the hour, was put to him by a cousin.

    When he pitched it to his fellow firefighters, they were eager to get on board.

    The main purpose of the exercise was to raise awareness and funds for the Riverton Community House, which provided much-needed care and support for members of the community.

    Mr Raines said everyone had a time in their life where they needed support, and the event gave people the opportunity to come down for a chat.

    “It doesn’t matter what happens in your life, everybody needs it, someone to talk to about anything.”

    It was also a chance to raise awareness about the volunteer fire brigade and what it put back into the community.

    “We have an establishment of, we’re meant to have 22, we’ve got currently 13 volunteer people in our brigade.”

    He encouraged people to put themselves forward as a volunteer to ensure the brigade could continue to meet the needs of its community.

    Family friends, community groups and volunteers all had a go at walking or running a lap.

    Mr Raines said after the first lap, he was feeling good and did not want to finish the marathon without any body aches.

    “Hopefully it’s going to hurt a little bit.

    “A walk down the beach taking the dog for a walk is pretty much the only training we’ve done,” he said with a laugh.

    The biggest challenge was a bit of sleep deprivation, however, tooting horns from passing cars and support from other participants would get them all through, he said.

    Rike Raines said she could not have been more proud of her husband.

    “For him it’s more the making people aware that it’s OK not to be OK, by doing this and involving everyone.”

    Several community groups had given donations and by Tuesday morning, the marathon had raised more than $3000 for the cause.