former St Norbert student steps up

former St Norbert student steps up

2376
former St Norbert student
] Joshua Ferguson will run a marathon around Mills Park this Sunday to raise money for the homeless. Photograph – Richard Polden

A 19-year-old former St Norbert student will, this weekend, complete 66 laps of an 800m section around Beckenham’s Mills Park.

When Pheidippides legged it from the Battle of Marathon, running all the way to Athens before dying of exhaustion in the Greek assembly, it’s unlikely he would have thought that one day an East Cannington resident would run a marathon around a park for fun.

Enter Joshua Ferguson.

He won’t be running to inform the Greek Assembly of a great victory, but he will be raising money for the homeless.

Pretty incredible for a man that said he was just average at athletics during school, and who hadn’t considered running any amount of distance before New Year’s Eve.

It quicky becomes apparent that Joshua is not your normal kind of man.

“The first time I started running was November 17 last year,” he said.

“I played a lot of sports as a kid and I was dead average at all of them, very much middle of the pack.

“For sure I’m mental, there’s definitely something wrong, I started running on November 17 and my first 25km was December 17, the day before my birthday.”

Inspired by Nedd Brockmann, the 21-year-old electrician who ran across Australia, raising $2 million for charity, Joshua said he just decided to run. And keep running.

“Within one month of running, I challenged myself to run a 25km run, and I did that, so I thought ‘cool, if I can run 25km within a month, let’s try a marathon’,” he said.

“Unfortunately none of the events were running due to COVID, which is a bit of a bummer, but nothing I could do … until I figured I could just run a marathon myself.”

Incredibly, Joshua decided, out of the blue, to do a practice marathon two weeks ago, and now he’s prepared for the big day.

“A lot of people talk about you’ve got to motivate for the people that don’t believe in you, yadda yadda yadda … I’ve had zero pushback from anyone I know.

“I started doing this to challenge myself, but cooler than that I’ve had friends, family, strangers join in and start challenging themselves which is great.”

The charity he is running for is a homelessness charity called Mobilise, active in the Eastern States who are opening in Perth soon.

Josh said the organisation represented  homeless people.

“Homeless people, they might have toothbrushes, sleeping bags, things like that but Mobilise help with temporary addresses for debit cards, job interviews, really helping people get back on their feet rather than just making them more comfortable on the street,” he said.

“It’s hands-on targeted support, emotional support that I read up on and it really connected with me.

“I thought that if I’m going to do this, someone other than me should get something out of it.”

The run takes place from 9am to 4pm on March 12, and Josh wants everyone to come along for a run.

“The laps might get a bit monotinous, I’ll need some banter to keep me entertained.”

To donate to Josh, head to https://gofund.me/964454af