Mates rally for bush health

Danella BevisThe West Australian
Shane Sander gets set for the Mates 500.
Camera IconShane Sander gets set for the Mates 500. Credit: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

With only days to go until they set off on what will be their toughest challenge yet, the Aglime of Australia team are ready to hit the ground running in the Mates 500 Relay.

The team of 11 runners will set out to conquer a whopping 1500km when they take off from Mukinbudin on Monday and cross the finish line 11 days later in Manjimup, on April 3.

Six runners will take turns covering the distance each day in 1km intervals, with each team member covering an average of 26km each a day.

The team is hoping to build on the $120,000 already raised by the 2011 and 2012 events for the Regional Men's Health Initiative and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

This year they will pass through 33 towns in the hope of increasing the profile of men's health and wellbeing in regional areas.

Along the way, guest speakers will join the team and their support crew to present evening health and promotion forums in towns, including Mukinbudin, Wongan Hills, Merredin, Bruce Rock, Corrigin, Kulin, Kukerin, Gnowangerup, Wagin and Manjimup.

Guest speakers over the first few days of the relay include champion Australian cricketer Bruce Yardley at the Mukinbudin Community Sports Centre on March 23, celebrity butcher Vince Garreffa at the Wongan Hills Golf Club on March 25, West Coast Eagles player Dean Cox at the Merredin Recreation Centre on March 26, and former Eagles champion Glen Jakovich at Bruce Rock Sports Pavilion on March 27.

Mates 500 chairman Paul Omodei said the event was fortunate to have attracted such well-known identities to the evening forums, and the support received from local towns so far had been amazing.

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