THORZT supports running 4500km across Australia for bowel cancer awareness
If the idea of a 42km marathon sounds excessive, imagine averaging 42km a day for 4 months. Now imagine you’re not a serious runner.
This is what 30 year-old Jenna Brook is running into on 18 February when she commences her 4500km inland mission from the bottom of Tasmania to Cape York in a bid to raise awareness for bowel cancer.
With her family having a history of bowel cancer and with Jenna herself having polyps (small benign growths that can turn cancerous) which were detected early and removed from her bowel, she decided running across the country was a good way to help others avoid the second biggest cancer killer in Australia – with someone dying every two hours.
“Jenna said that the expedition is a great way to start conversations about bowel cancer and along the way she will be participating in community events, gatherings and barbecues, having cups of tea, talking to schools and other community groups.”
“Bowel cancer has a 90 per cent treatment success rate when detected early,” Jenna said.
The detection involves a colonoscopy and Jenna hopes to remove the stigma associated with this screening method.
“It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We all have bowels but as a society we don’t like talking about them.”
“I am super excited about what this can potentially do for bowel cancer awareness,” she said.
Jenna first started running in July 2016 which was only a few months before the idea of running from Tasmania to Cape York came about.
Living in Birdsville in outback Queensland, summer days are rarely under 40 degrees so Jenna has been doing most of her training at night to escape the heat.
“I get up most mornings around 3am and run for a few hours under the cover of darkness and try and be home soon after the sun rises,” she said, adding that she is also training on the bike and deep-water running in the pool.
She will travel up to 65km in a day on the trip, however regular rest days are also scheduled, while she is not afraid of walking if she needs to.
Her diet is also critical to a successful mission.
“I’ll need lots of calories from good natural sources: vegies, beans, legumes and protein,” she said.
I’d be surprised if I can eat the number of calories I am expending,” she said, adding that there will also be some chocolate in the mix.
Staying Cool and Hydrated
With the extreme temperatures faced in outback Australia, Jenna will be using a THORZT chilly vest to keep cool on the long days, and said these have been essential during her training.
“I use their vest when I run. They are amazing and make me so much more comfortable. I can tolerate being in the heat much longer when I am wearing them.”
“If I get too hot my brain starts to crash. I get angry and frustrated. You don’t know what you want. You can’t eat, you can’t drink,” she said.
“Staying cool is really important. I don’t want to have heat stress every day.”
Jenna will also use THORZT electrolyte hydration products to help ensure she finds the right balance between dehydration and over-hydration.
Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in Australia yet with early detection treatment has a 90 per cent success rate. Yet less than 40 per cent of cases are caught early enough.
Jenna implores people to listen to their body, understand the symptoms of bowel cancer.
“If they catch it early they can watch their grandkids grow up.”
Bowel Cancer Symptoms:
- Abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, bleeding from the rectum, blood in your stools, lumps and bumps in the abdomen, lethargy, unexplained weight loss, diarrhea and constipation.
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