Terrie Gavan is running 75 kilometres this week to help improve water accessibility in developing countries as part of CARE Australia’s Walk in Her Shoes challenge.
And the 50 year-old has a strong will to fight this cause after growing up in a village in Papua New Guinea, where she had to walk barefoot to collect clean drinking water for her family.
“I used to walk three kilometres every Sunday with water on my head in big pots,” she said.
“They were heavy – we used to start with the biggest one first and then go down to the lightest.
“Now, thanks to outside help, there are facilities near our village with clean water, so people there don’t have to walk that far anymore,” she said.
CARE Australia’s Walk in Her Shoes helps reduce the distance women and girls have to walk by providing clean water and nutritious food close to home.
This means girls can spend more time in school, women can earn an income and together they can help their communities step out of poverty.
Ms Gavan is hoping to raise $250 through sponsorship, which can help can help families grow vegetables to eat and sell, improving quality of life..
The running program started on Monday October 17 and involves six 10-kilometre runs from Stokes Terrace, West Augusta, to Stirling North.
The run will conclude with a 15 km run from Stokes Terrace to Stirling North on Sunday, October 23.
Terrie said childhood memories keep the fire strong in helping this cause.
“Every Sunday we never had a break or never had a rest, we had to fetch water from windmills,” she said.
“My family are very lucky they get water there now but there are other countries who don’t.
“...Kids are the future and I’m a support worker so it breaks my heart when I see they don’t have it.”
Her devotion to fitness and in particular lifting weights has led to her friends joke she’s a ‘mad woman’.
Terrie keeps fit via strength work, cross-fit, circuit training and morning boot camp.
Terrie said some inspiration from Port Augusta Cross Fit Manager Jason McInerney in 2013 helped her get back into fitness after family burdens had taken their toll.
Since then Terrie has ran eight half marathons, three full marathons and a 50km ultra-marathon.
She also represented Papua New Guinea in track and field. For more information or to donate, visit Terrie’s fundraising page.