Finding Balance

18 Mar 2024

One of the challenges in setting yourself a pretty audacious goal is it often takes a lot of work to get to the start line, particularly if there are a number of measures of success.

On the 1st of December of this year I will depart Baan Home Hug in the town of Yasothon in the North East of Thailand and over the next 26 days run to Baan Tharn Namchai. Along with an amazing crew ( at least I hope they are going to be amazing ) led by my crew chief in life CT, and my running mate Greg Wallace, we will arrive at the tsunami memorial on the morning of the 26th of December 2024. 20 years to the day of the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that claimed and changed so many lives.

The route from Baan Home Hug travelling south to Baan Tharn Namchai and the tsunami memorial.


The 1400km run is the equivalent of running from Melbourne to Brisbane or completing 33 full marathons in 26 days.

So why do it?

There are three main reasons and they move around in order of importance from time to time:

1. To undertake a personal challenge the like of which I have never done and given I’m getting older not younger, never likely to do again. I feel like it will be therapy for the past 20 years that have been filled with incredible highs and some pretty desperate lows. Yes investing in a therapist would be less onerous than running 1400km, but given what goes on inside my head, it wouldn’t be cheaper!

2. When I tossed up the idea of doing the run it had to be worth some decent fundraising for the kids that Hands supports and $1m felt like a nice round number. It also feels like a stretch, just like the run itself.

3. If we do it right it will help bring attention and awareness of the work that Hands has done in Thailand over the last two decades and importantly, the plans we have for the future. It’s always a jolting thing to hear when I speak to Australian leaders of Australian businesses operating in Thailand who say “I have never heard of Hands”. It’s jolting because we have been there for almost 20 years and for the majority of those years the largest contributing Australasian charity to Thailand.

As the weeks and months start to slip by, as the countdown to the 1st of December is well and truly underway, it is both daunting and incredibly exciting. Daunting as to the challenge that lies ahead and exciting at the progress to date.

The struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose. Chadwick Boseman

I return to Australia after a week in Bangkok seeking partners, sponsors, donors and those willing to back the run and in doing so back the future we are creating for the kids and communities we support.

Meeting at the Australian Embassy in Thailand with the Ambassador Dr. Angela ManDonald along with Country Director of Thailand for Hands Across the Water Tim Loke.

Meeting with representatives of the AustCham CSR committee, Saj Iqbal, John Welby and Khun Manasavee.


An important piece of the puzzle in creating awareness of Hands and recognition for our sponsors was in securing a park in Bangkok for us to hold our own community 5km and 10km fun run. On the 15th of December as we head south towards Baan Tharn Namchai, we will depart from our route and head into the heart of Bangkok for the community fun run. I wonder by that time if I will be tying the words fun and run together still?

So where are we at and how are we tracking just outside nine months till this kicks off?

1. The training feels like it is heading in the right direction. I would like to think there is enough, without too much whilst managing all the other aspects to life. Each day this week I was up at 4.30am for a 10k run. Back to the hotel for cool down, shower, breakfast and then off for a day of meetings. As the business day drew to a close I would return to the hotel and respond to the never ending emails, and then out for an evening run before dinner and bed.

2. The fundraising sits at $124k and with nine months out, to have over 12% of the goal ticked off I am stoked. We have already secured some great corporate support and the individual donations have been so awesome and so appreciated. I’m excited at the return we can create for our sponsors and the energy in the meetings this week says to me that people see the value of being part of this journey. Should you wish to donate or set up a time to talk with me I would welcome both or either.

3. The job in bringing meaningful and lasting awareness is probably the toughest right now and might be the last to fall, but we will stick at it.

What I am learning is that for the Run to Remember to be a success, there has to be a sustained and committed focus on all aspects. There has to be Balance. Completing the run without raising the money would feel like a job half done, focusing on the fundraising and awareness without enough time on my feet will lead to disaster.

I know that growth comes from the uncomfortable and I anticipate a lot of growth given what lies ahead.