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Trading snooze for sneakers: a run for a cause

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While many of us are preparing to get into a warm bed tonight, spare a thought for Paul Cornwall, who will be running 139 kilometres around All Saints College, Maitland.

Mr Cornwall, an IT Manager with the college, was inspired to take on the challenge as part of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service’s virtual fundraising event, AW139 Ultra for Everyone.

“It started off with my friend who wanted to get behind the cause and wanted me to share something on social media,” he said.

“I’m not particularly good at promoting things, I’ve only been good at doing things people think are crazy, so I thought: ‘What’s better to do than a 139km run?’

“I’ve never been impacted by Westpac [but] I have friends and family who have – a great friend of mine, his little boy was picked up and it was a tragic story.

“I thought: ‘This is my chance to step up and do something more.’”

After starting the run at 2pm Friday, the regular Ironman competitor will run throughout the night until he reaches the milestone at around noon tomorrow.

“I’ve been competing for five years and had four weeks off so this is going to be done a lot slower than what I do it at, but it’s more about getting it done, not about how fast I do it,” he said.

So far, he’s raised $1,200.

 “People are getting behind it and we are raising money for the right cause and I’m so happy,” he said.

As for why he chose to run at All Saints College, Mr Cornwall said it’s a place close to his heart.

“It’s a beautiful school, great spirit and support,” he said.

“Everyone’s getting behind me, it’s a spiritual place, I grew up here, I went to school here, and to be here makes me feel at peace with what I’m doing because it’s going to get very tough and I’ll need every ounce of energy.”

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