Big Red Run Shows Big Heart
Runners take on Australia's first stage race to raise awareness for youth diabetes
Photo by Chris Ord
Greg Donovan is not a man known to do anything in half measures. Running the New York Marathon in 2002, the Australian endurance athlete raised a staggering $150,000 for the education of children whose parents were among the 3000 people who lost their lives in the terrorist attack of September 11. And he completed the 26.2-mile feat with a stress fracture in his leg, no less.
So when his 14-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes five years ago, Donovan vowed to do “everything he could”. While most people expected him to go to inordinate lengths to help, just how far he would go—literally—is extraordinary.
Greg Donovan and his son Steven. Photo by Chris Ord.
Last month Donovan, 51, organized and took part in Australia’s first multi-stage, 155-mile desert race, The Big Red Run, to raise funds and awareness for juvenile diabetes. The disease affects more than three million Americans and many more worldwide.
It was the icing on the cake for Donovan’s big year of running for the cause. The Big Red Run was his fifth desert race in 18 months, having completed all four of the RacingThePlanet desert races in 2012 along with a team of four other runners. That’s a whopping 778 miles, not taking into account the training required for this super-human challenge. His charitable efforts, and the energy which they generate, touch all that cross his path.