Kusaga: What is Run for Love 2018 and where did the idea come from?
Nick: The idea came whilst I was running one day in August last year. The day before my mum's birthday.
Run For Love 2018 is a journey through Africa, from bottom to top, to fundraise for different charities but more importantly to get people to think about love and unity.
We are all the same and I am sick of all the hate and fear and division that is forced upon us to make us not trust our fellow human. I also want to inspire people to stand up for this Planet and its people and be the change they want to see in the world. If people from all over the world join me on this run then the concept can get spread through a lot of the world.
Kusaga: What were you doing before beginning Run for Love?
Nick: I was studying nursing and painting houses and Uber driving. 3 and a half weeks in there have been a few hiccups and I haven't been running a marathon a day. That was my initial intention but the message is more important than the distance run, so I am building up to running that but if it's taking up every hour of the day that I could possibly be interacting with different communities and cultures then I will not be running that much.
Kusaga: Setting out to run a marathon a day is a tough challenge, do you have a background in long distance running and why the hell would you want to do it barefoot?
Nick: I only started running in April last year, after an ACL reconstruction and I just learnt how to do it pretty well...barefoot. The whole barefoot thing just happened. I injured my knee running in shoes so I stopped wearing them whilst it was getting better and one day I was mapping out my route through Africa and I just took off for a run barefoot and loved it. It's obviously a lot more difficult but it really is such a grounding experience and teaches you to be present.
Kusaga: South Africa can be a politically volatile region, do you have any concerns for your journey? What precautions have you taken for safety?
Nick: South Africa is completely fine. I have contacts in different governments for certain countries but no safety precautions have been put in place. I prefer to trust in human beings and the universe.
Kusaga: The logistics for this project are massive, do you have a large team behind you?
I had a bit of a team but it's down to me and one team member, the beautiful Marie, in Sydney. Right now a friend is driving with me for a couple of weeks as my support car but when she has to leave then I'll have to figure something else out again.
Kusaga: What is the end goal of Run for Love 2018?
Nick: There is no end goal. I've already achieved what I set out to do. As the thousands of people I have interacted with have thought about loving each other more and have been inspired by my little barefoot jog. I wanted to help people change things in their lives, change the things they weren’t happy with. I’m now seeing some of them are standing up and making changes to their lives and the world.
Kusaga: Thanks Nick for your time, the team here at Kusaga Athletic are thrilled to be a part of your Run for Love project.
If you are in South Africa or interested in tagging along on Nick's - Run for Love 2018 adventure, he will welcome the company. Kusaga will post updates on Nick's journey to our community each week, so subscribe to our social media channels and sign up for our newsletter.
If you want to reach out to Nick and send him any messages of support, follow him via the links below.
Graham Ross is CEO of Kusaga Athletic and growth advisor to planet friendly companies. Graham is a multiple Ironman-distance triathlete and marathoner with a passion for riding up the biggest mountains he can find.