Real Life

REAL LIFE: Meet the Aussie dad who ran a 42km marathon in his backyard, all for his daughter

This Aussie Dad shares his incredible first person story.

By Laura Masia

Jim Poussard, 45, from Mordialloc, Vic, shares his story

I put one foot steadily in front of the other and took a few deep breaths.
"Keep going, Dad!" my daughters, Sammy, 14, Emma, 12, and Georgia, nine, cheered from the garage as I jogged past them.
At the beginning of 2020, I'd decided to run 20 marathons to raise $20,000 for the Royal Children's Hospital.
As a running and athletics coach, I wanted to do something to give back to the hospital that had made such a difference when Georgia was born.
My wife, Susan, had been recovering from her difficult pregnancy so the doctors had decided to keep her and Georgia on the ward longer than usual.
As she got some rest, Susan noticed the emergency team race down the hall towards the nursery.
Georgia is now happy and healthy. (Image: Supplied)
Ten minutes later, doctors told her it was our baby girl. Susan called me in tears and I rushed straight there.
"Georgia has a narrow aorta and some holes in her heart," the doctor told us. "She'll need urgent surgery to fix it."
We were terrified.
Two days later, Georgia was rushed into theatre. We felt helpless, putting all our trust into the medical team to save our girl.
Thankfully, the op was a success but we weren't out of the woods just yet.
Georgia was in ICU for a month before coming home and had to be fed through a tube while she healed.
The incredible hospital staff helped train us on how to put it back in if she pulled it out.
It was tough but soon, Georgia was a healthy and happy little girl.
After everything we'd been through, raising money for the hospital was the least I could do.
A week before I was due to run my sixth marathon of the year, it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I was disappointed.
Running has always been a passion of mine. (Image: Supplied)
"I'll have to run a lonely made-up marathon," I said sadly to Susan.
But as the world adapted to their new way of life, I noticed other runners in the community had created their own marathons in their house!
Inspired to hit my target, I set about cleaning our place, tidying the garage and planning my own marathon.
The track spanned 80 metres and it would take 528 laps to hit the 42.2km marathon distance.
I posted about my at-home marathon on Facebook and the local news ended up covering it.
"You're halfway!" called Sammy, who was keeping score of my laps. With the encouragement from my girls and neighbours, the time flew by.
My girls and my neighbours cheered me on. (Image: Supplied)
After six hours, Susan and the girls cheered as I ran through a finish line of toilet paper.
It was slightly longer than my usual time, but I was stoked.
The extra attention my make-shift marathon received attracted more donations for the hospital and now I'm well on track for meeting my $20,000 goal at the end of the year.
I'm expanding my local marathons so others can join me.
No matter what 2020 throws at us, I'm determined to do what it takes to encourage donations for the hospital that saved my daughter's life.
I've just got 
to keep on running.
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