We are so excited to have had the chance to interview the amazing and inspiring couple that is Running Raw Around Australia. Throughout the year 2013, to inspire and motivate conscious lifestyle choices, to promote kindness and compassion for all living beings, and to raise environmental awareness for a sustainable future, veteran raw vegan runners Janette Murray-Wakelin (64) and Alan Murray (68) ran together around Australia 15,782km, 366 marathons in 366 days. They finished running 365 marathons in 365 days in Melbourne December 31, 2013. On January 1, 2014 they ran one more marathon #366 from Melbourne to Warrandyte along the Yarra Trail to set a new World Record for the most consecutive marathons.
VP: So how did you two meet?
RR: We met at a community dance, 46 years ago :)
VP: How long have you been raw vegans?
RR: Almost 11 years.
VP: What was your inspiration for accomplishing this marathon feat?
RR: The charities that we are raising awareness and fundraising for and also that we passionately believe in the positive message of living a conscious lifestyle through kindness and compassion to all living beings.
VP: Have you ever done anything like this before?
RR: We ran the length of New Zealand- 2182.2 km, a marathon a day for 50 consecutive days in 1999/2000.
VP: Tell us about your diet over this past year while running the marathons.
RR: We eat a raw vegan plant-based diet of fresh, ripe, preferably organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables- especially greens. Raw fruits and vegetables eaten as they come naturally or blended into a smoothie or freshly juiced, provide the most amount of nutrients and live enzymes required to sustain and provide energy required for a high level of physical performance such as running a marathon every day for 366 days. Therefore, it makes sense to eat the most healthful food available to attain optimal health and a high level of physical fitness.
VP: Tell us about the charities you did this for.
RR: We wanted to have several charities who maintain the RunRAW2013 mandate of kindness and compassion to all living beings so we chose 4 charities: Kids Under Cover, Animals Australia, The Gawler Foundation and The Australian Paralympic Committee, all of whom are active in providing support and awareness for their charity groups. Information and details on all charities are on our website and donations can be made through the website www.RunningRawAroundAustralia.com.
VP: Do you have any role models or anyone that has been an inspiration to you?
RR: Gandhi (Humanitarian) , Phillip Wollen (Humanitarian), Dr. Douglas Graham (FruitnSport 80/10/10 diet) and Mike Arnstein (The Fruitarian Ultra Endurance Runner).
VP: What was the biggest challenge to your success in accomplishing this feat?
RR: Adverse weather conditions! We experienced extreme temperatures of 45 degrees celsius with a radiant heat from the road over 50 degrees celsius. We ran close to bush fires where the road was closed before and after our passing through the area. There were three weeks of heavy rain and strong winds going through Cyclone Oswald, together with severe flooding as a result of the cyclone. The worst conditions were when we had freezing horizontal rain turning to hail with head winds over 50 kilometers per hour. Running across the Nullarbor was a challenge mentally as it took 27 days to complete on straight flat roads with no change in the scenery, so it reminded us of Groundhog Day!
VP: Do any events over the past year stand out to you as the most touching or meaningful?
RR: There were many meaningful and touching moments throughout the year, but one that really stands out is when we were hosted overnight by a family who had a 6 year old boy. The couple had told him about us, what we were doing and why, so when we arrived he told us that he had something for us. He had made a drawing and had attached a $20 note and a 20 cent piece to the drawing and had written ‘I want to give you money.’ He explained that the money was his savings from his pocket money and he wanted to give it to us “because you are running a long way for kids and animals and other people.” He looked around his home and commented, “I am lucky to have a roof over my head,” referring to the charity- Kids Under Cover, and patting his dog he said, “I love animals, I would never eat them.” He reached out and took a framed photo to show us, “This is my Grannie, she was very sick and she died, I don’t want anyone to be sick.” We were touched by his understanding at such a young age and his gesture made RunRAW2013 all the more meaningful.
VP: What are your favorite books?
RR: Our favorite books are those based on a true story.