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Gruelling, yet cathartic experience for runner

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Samuel Davis, Cape York Weekly

Pacing across treasured destinations isn’t anything unusual for distance runner Jamie Candler.

But for some reason, every euphoric stride through Yarraden Nature Refuge felt unlike any trundle he’d been on before.

“It’s got a bit of a spiritual feel to it,” he said of the 130-kilometre stretch between the Musgrave Roadhouse and Coen.

“They were nice overcast days, a little bit of light rain in the morning. I didn’t want to stop running, to be honest. It’s so green and lush.

“I felt like that stretch of road unlocked something in me, I’m not sure how to label it, to be honest.”

But the mad dash between the remote communities was just a small part of a monumental 1000km journey for the Cairns-based youth worker.

With close mate Ash Currie riding alongside him on his bike, Mr Candler bounded from Port Douglas to Pajinka at the tip of Cape York.

The 23-day trip has raised more than $35,000 for men’s health group Movember.

“We had the minimum goal of an Olympic distance marathon each day,” he said.

“The biggest day was 61 kilometres and I think the whole trip averaged out to 45 kilometres a day.

“Men’s mental health is an important issue for me and I wanted to do it for a group with national reach but have a community approach to it.

“I guarantee you we’ve saved a life in the process in the sense that there will be a young person who will reach out and be helped as a result of the money we’ve raised.”

Taking in Cape York’s sweeping beaches, lowland rainforests and heath-covered ranges by foot has its advantages, he said.

“A lot of people are going up to conquer the tip in their cars and I feel like they’re in such a hurry,” Mr Candler said.

“They don’t do any bush-walking and there’s no interaction with nature. Some of them we saw even had satellite TV.

“For me, the last month without so many screens has been so cathartic.”

Cape York Weekly 19 July 2022

This article appeared in Cape York Weekly, 19 July 2022.

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