One of the most extraordinary running journeys of recent years comes to an end on the tip of Cape York tomorrow, when Jenna Brook completes a mind-blowing 4500 kilometre trek to raise awareness of bowel cancer.
The Birdsville-born adventurer has run and walked a marathon distance every day for the last three months and three weeks to achieve the feat.
Along the way she’s run through fierce heat, used more ice than an Eskimo fishing, given herself an impressive tan line, had her motorhome broken into, done the odd undie run, and broken down the stigma of talking about poo all along her route.
At the beginning of June she also hit her target of raising $50,000 for Bowel Cancer Australia, an amount which is still climbing as people record their admiration for Jenna.
One of those is her sister, Dalene Wray, who said Jenna had always had an incredible mind to make herself give things a go.
“I know she really wanted people as young as 20 or 30 to know about colonoscopies and not think of it as something only people over 50 had,” she said.
“All five of us kids have been tested for bowel abnormalities, thanks to genetic predisposition, and Jenna had the worst kind of polyps removed.
“If she hadn’t, she’d most likely have bowel cancer now.”
As well as forcing herself up for her daily run, Jenna has been posting daily bowel cancer facts on social media, which have been hitting the mark with her audience.
As Tonya McCracken said, “As a registered nurse who spends a lot of time working in an endoscopy unit, I see regularly the sad results of people who put off regular bowel checks.
“I truly applaud your efforts in raising awareness and admire your commitment to the run.”
Commenting on the donations coming in, Jenna said to say her heart was bursting with joy would be an understatement.
“I can't thank you enough for all the love you've shown this outrageous adventure,” she said. “All the funds and bum talk will make a difference and will save lives.”
All the funds and bum talk will make a difference and will save lives
She began in Tasmania on February 17, running 400km before transferring to the mainland, running 510km through Victoria and just over 1000km through the heart of NSW, before the 2700km trek the length of Queensland.
It has been an amazing feat of endurance for Jenna, one she was buoyed on by a small support crew, offers of overnight stops along the way, and people who would on occasion come out and run alongside her for a short while.
Even so, she needed to detour to hospital at Bamaga on Tuesday after crossing the Jardine River, where chest pain was diagnosed as “pesky ribs”.
If anyone deserves a rest after such an emphatic statement, it will be Jenna.