When country boy, Nedd Brockman moved to Sydney to become a sparky he was left stunned by the amount of homelessness he saw on the streets of the city. Coming from the small town of Forbes in the Central West of NSW, there’s an inherent sense of community in Nedd. It’s that same social responsibility that’s now pushing him to enact change.
A self-confessed nutter, he saw his passion for running was the perfect opportunity to garner an audience and raise some money for a cause he was passionate about. We caught up with the 21-year-old after he clocked off. Here’s what he had to say about his ludicrous next venture.
“I’ve found I really like doing nuts things with running, trying to go further and further and challenge myself… It had me thinking, what way can I grab an audience to raise money for the homeless and people living in poverty. So then the plan was 50-50-50… 50 marathons in 50 days to raise $50,000 for homelessness in Sydney. All while still working full-time as a sparky seven til three”.
For those of you playing at home, that’s 42.2 kilometres every day for 50 days. Starting on the 31st of August, he’ll be running a total of 2,110 kilometres. Or Sydney to Melbourne and back with kms leftover for a quick detour to his hometown of Forbes. A tall order, Nedd’s motivated by his desire to help those in need.
“Every Tuesday, I was travelling into Ultimo to go to TAFE and I’d always see ten or so homeless people doing it tough on the streets. It’s the most humbling experience. Your mindset changes and you feel like you’ve just got to help. My first thing to do was just go up, I’d sit down and try and talk to them… offer them some food or my jacket if they were cold. But, more often than not just to have a chat”.
On any given night, 10,000 Australians are sleeping rough on the streets or inadequate dwellings*. It’s an astonishing statistic that’s highlighted particularly on the affluent streets of the ‘Emerald City’.
“I feel like I’m in a position to help. So, I thought… how can I raise money and this was the wildest thing I could come up with”.
When asked if he’s up to the challenge, Nedd emphatic reply is simple; “Absolutely”. “Physically I know I’m capable of doing it and mentally I’m already there. So, it’s just a matter of one foot in front of the other. Km by km. Day by day”.
Nedd took up running just over a year ago after hanging up the footy boots and finding his fitness had fallen.
“I was probably a bit on the chunky side” Nedd laughs, “I was pushing 90kgs… So, I just started running a lot. I did my first half marathon and I thought I was the man. Then, I was talking to a mate and we were like, “Let’s do a full marathon.” I went, “Righto.” So we planned it a week before, and then we ran to Palm beach. That was it”.
Since then, Ned’s racked up a slew of massive runs.
“I did a half marathon around the Bronte hill with another bloke and then that just kicked it all off. So then I went and did a 60 km’er, a hundred laps of Bronte hill, which is 80km and then the 100 km’er”.
Around 58km into his 103km night run (Randwick to Palm Beach and back), Nedd found himself questioning his reasoning.
“If your why is bigger than your reason to quit, then you won’t quit,” he said. It’s clear this fundraising challenge is a pretty big “why” for Nedd.
Nedd has several 42km tracks he’ll rotate, ranging from doing 12 laps of Centennial Park to powering out 42km on the treadmill. You can show your support for Nedd by donating to his Red Cross fundraiser or getting around his Instagram. As he starts getting through the challenge, join him for the backend of his daily marathon and show your support by running alongside him.