Man runs equivalent to the Great Wall of China
IN AN amazing feat of human endurance, one Gympie athlete has run almost every Monday for 36 years amassing a distance equivalent to more than The Great Wall of China.
Mick Summers is a member of the Gympie Hash House Harriers running club which runs socially each week.
Summers has been with the local club since its inception and has just clocked up a staggering 1500 runs.
The club runs, on average, 6-8km every Monday, rain, hail or shine.
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Going by those numbers, Summers could have run between 11,000 and 15,000km just as part of the social running club.
That's the equivalent of running from the UK to Thailand, or little over the length of the Great Wall of China.
He is already featured in the Hash House Harriers Hall of Fame for 1000 runs with the club.
The Hash House Harriers is an international group of non-competitive running social clubs.
The group was founded in Malaysia in 1938, when a group of British colonial officers and expatriates began meeting on Monday evenings to run.
They ran in a fashion patterned after the traditional British paper chase or "hare and hounds”, to rid themselves of the excesses of the previous weekend.
The tradition caught on and it is now global in its reach.
The Gympie Hash House Harriers have been operational since 1981.
After a few weeks running in the club you are given a "Hash” name which is used from then on, and Summers is known as "Hare”, his second name after his original was "too rude”.
Gympie Hash House Harriers spokeswoman Tanya Hehir, also known as "Band Aid”, said the club held a dinner on Monday night, at the Taj Mahal Curry Palace, in order to help Summers celebrate this milestone.
"It was great night had by all and it was terrific to see some veteran Hash members turn up for the special occasion,” Hehir said.
"He's (Summers) out oldest and he still runs rings around us all.
"He's a mad keen surfer and just so humble.”
Hehir said Summers would always tell her to "bugger off” when she would try and sneak a photo of him, such is the unassuming and modest nature of the athlete.
"He always tells me to get stuffed when I chase him for a photo,” she said.
"This club wouldn't be what it is without him.
"He doesn't like a fuss or voicing his opinion.
"He's a diehard. He's a tree of knowledge.”
Summers will set the route for the next Hash House Harriers run on Monday October 23.
The Club runs every Monday night at 6pm, rain, hail or shine. There is a different venue each week - you finish where you start.
At the end of each run, the location of the following week's run is decided.
The setter leaves chalk marks setting out a track (toilet paper through bush areas).
The running club is for people of all levels of fitness who want to meet new people, get some fresh air and acquire a good thirst.
Runners are aged in their teens right through to their 70s. Saturday's edition of the Gympie Times lists the details of where the run will be held from.
The cost is $5 per run which includes dinner and beer and soft drink can be purchased at a minimal amount.