Inspired by his passion for running and personal family loss to cancer, former Guinness World Record holder and Cancer Prevention Champion of the Year 2019, Luca Turrini, created the Outrun Cancer Corporate Treadmill Marathon.
It is all about running to raise funds and awareness for cancer prevention projects.
Running 42.2km, as a team, on a treadmill.
Since starting the charity 7 years ago, 2615 participants have collectively run 10,713 kilometres and raised $886,040.
Based on feedback from the Cancer Council, 1 in 3 cancer cases are preventable, and potentially more than half of all cancers could be avoided through a combination of healthy lifestyle and regular screening.
We talk about “curing” cancer while, I believe, we should be talking about not getting cancer in the first place. This is what winning the fight against cancer sounds like to me, says Luca Turrini
We caught up with Luca to discuss his plans for 2020 and learn more about how Outrun Cancer is making a difference.
What are you hoping to achieve with Outrun Cancer in 2020
2020 is the year when we take Outrun Cancer National!
Our goal in 2020 is to reach 1000 participants and raise an additional $100,000 for cancer prevention projects.
We currently have 8 locations running the Corporate Treadmill Challenge on 27th March 2020 at 1pm.
There are two new locations open to the public, hosted by Crunch Fitness Parramatta and Crunch Fitness Chatswood. We are expecting these events to be really popular. Crunch Fitness have generously donated the treadmills for the event, and 1 week’s free gym membership to everyone that participates at either of these locations.
Why run a corporate marathon on a treadmill?
I have always worked in large corporations and I believe they have a social responsibility to give back to the community and their employees.
The corporate treadmill challenge does that. It is a healthy, fundraising activity that everyone can get involved in. From the CEO, to the IT guy like me, it is something everyone can do together.
For employees, going to the gym at lunch time is doable, gets you fit and helps you feel good about giving back to a worthwhile cause.
Hard core runners, weekend warriors, beginners and non-runners alike. Everyone can contribute as a team.
The idea is simple, form a team of 4 to 21 people, decide how far each person wants to run and ensure you achieve 42.2km between you in the target time you set for yourself.
What makes your charity unique?
We target corporates, so they can get their employees involved and help create a healthy culture. It is a great team bonding activity and a chance for organisations to give back to their employees and community.
We also encourage healthy fundraising options. Selling sugary treats and unhealthy cakes might sound like a great idea but it goes against everything we are trying to achieve. Healthy eating is known to help prevent some types of cancer.
Research suggests that 95% of kids aren’t eating enough fruit and vegetables and a similar figure applies to adults. We use fundraising as a way to educate and get the message out. So, when you take part in our event not only are you doing it for yourself but hopefully you are also educating everyone around.
How did you get started?
Sadly, it all started from a family loss to pancreatic cancer so spreading the message about cancer prevention and making a dent in the war against cancer is something deeply close to my heart.
We talk about “curing” cancer while, I believe, we should be talking about not getting cancer in the first place. This is what winning the fight against cancer sounds like to me.
We have an opportunity to take back responsibility – we don’t have to wait around hoping for the best. What’s more empowering than that?!
Over the years I have been fortunate to receive the support of great companies such as Macquarie Bank, CBA, AMP, Madison Marcus to name a few.
This year, AMP is breaking ground once again by working with us to take the Outrun Cancer corporate treadmill marathon to each of their offices around Australia!
The AMP Foundation is also on board by matching staff donations. AMP have found it hugely beneficial for team moral and a great way to give back to their staff and wider community.
We have a number of other Australian organisations looking at introducing the corporate treadmill marathon to their offices too… so it’s an exciting 2020!
I would love to see the Corporate Treadmill Marathon go global and help educate everyone to take action to prevent cancer!
What did you have a Guinness World Record For?
On Saturday April 29th 2017, I stepped on a treadmill, pressed the START button at 10:30AM and kept running until Sunday 10:30AM. Over the 24h I covered 261.180 km, and set a new Guinness World Record by just 780 meters. It was close, but I never doubted that I wouldn’t make it. My record has recently been beaten however, so I may need to go back into training to take the challenge on again!
How much have your raised since you started and what projects has Outrun Cancer supported?
So far, we have raised $886,040. We would like to hit the $1million mark this year.
As a Cancer Council NSW Community Supporter, the donations raised from OUTRUN CANCER participants go to fund specific and targeted prevention campaigns we identify with the Cancer Council. The main projects we have contributed to are
- Our Kids Our Call is a campaign led by Cancer Council’s CanAct Community to stop junk food advertisers targeting our kids with manipulative advertising that encourages unhealthy eating habits and sets them up for a lifetime of poor health.
- The Healthy lunch box website, is an interactive tool for parents to use with their children to plan and pack a healthy lunch box.
- Bowel Cancer early Screening research – The Gut Foundation and the UNSW Regional Medical school, ran a project to forecast how many lives will be saved when GPs include bowel cancer screening as regular testing.
In 2020 we are continuing to focus on the successful healthy lunch box website, launched in 2018. By helping educate kids and adults on a healthy lunch we are hopefully developing lifelong habits.
For more details on our projects go here https://www.outruncancer.com/cancer-prevention/
Is there a particular kind of cancer you are aiming to prevent?
Healthy lifestyle, physical activity and healthy nutrition all have an impact on cancer and many other chronic diseases. So why not all of them?
I don’t want to limit, I want to educate and influence as many people as I can, so we can all be inspired to live a healthier happier life.
There are a lot of fundraising opportunities asking for support, why should we support Outrun Cancer?
I truly believe preventing cancer is relevant to everyone, directly or indirectly.
With all the good causes most of us support and the recent bushfire emergency, I know we all feel asking or even giving causes can cause “fundraising fatigue”.
The thing is that I don’t think this fatigue is actually a real thing.
Donating to the causes we believe in and for those who need our help is a privilege. It means we recognise we are in a fortunate position and do not take it for granted. By donating (our money, our time, our skills, our voice, …) we pay forward our lucky star. We take a stand to make a positive contribution, make a difference and leave a mark in the world.
This year’s Corporate Marathon Challenge takes place 1pm 27th March 2020.
Share the challenge with your colleagues and get involved.