Matt Hunt is an incredible friend and supporter of Gidget Foundation Australia, who ran the Sydney Marathon on Sunday 17 September 2023. In the lead up to his epic run, Matt generously fundraised to support the emotional wellbeing of expectant and new parents, raising more than $1,200 in less than a week!
Matt shared the below update to all of his supporters after the Marathon. We are so grateful to have such incredible, kind support from people like Matt and everyone who donated to his fundraising efforts.
I hope this message finds you well as I express my deepest thanks to all of you for supporting me in running the Sydney Marathon for the Gidget Foundation. Your generous donations and well wishes have meant the world to me, and I want to share with you the incredible journey I experienced during this challenging race.
Yesterday, as I laced up my running shoes and joined the ranks of determined athletes at the Sydney Marathon, I knew I was in for a gruelling test of endurance. What I couldn't have predicted was the scorching 30-degree heat that would make this race even tougher than I had imagined.
The race started off on a promising note. The first 10 kilometres were invigorating as we ran across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. The energy from the cheering crowds and the camaraderie of fellow runners gave me a boost, and I felt great as I paced myself through the early part of the race. I was running strong and in good spirits as I passed the 20 kilometre mark, buoyed by the thought of the incredible cause we were supporting together.
However, the Sydney Marathon is known for its punishing climb out from Circular Quay and challenging terrain around Centennial Park. As I hit the 30 kilometre mark, the unforgiving conditions began to take their toll. The heat was relentless, and the race seemed never-ending. At that moment, I started to question whether I could finish. Doubt crept in, and I felt like giving up.
Having confidence in my training and the thought of the Gidget Foundation and the young parents battling perinatal depression and anxiety pushed me forward. I remembered why I was running this race, and I drew strength from the knowledge that our collective efforts were making a difference in their lives. Your support was a driving force - I couldn't let you all down.
By the time I reached the 37 kilometre mark, I was physically and mentally drained. Every step felt like a monumental effort; I was close to collapse like the many bodies I could see on the side of the road being tended to by paramedics. It was at this point that I truly appreciated the incredible power of teamwork. The support of my family, and my 13 year old daughter Sophie who ran alongside me for the last 2 kilometres, provided the encouragement I needed to keep going. She lifted my spirits, told me to “toughen up!” and gave me the belief that I could do it - she helped me persevere.
In the end, after 4 hours and 4 minutes of painful effort, I crossed the finish line and collapsed in the shade to catch my breath and regain my strength before reuniting with my family who had come out to watch and support me. I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment, and gratitude for the opportunity to be part of this race and this cause.
In closing, I want to express my deepest gratitude to each and every one of you. Your generous donations and well wishes not only helped me cross the finish line but also made a meaningful impact on the lives of those in need of the Gidget Foundation. Together, we are making a difference, and I couldn't have done it without your support.. Let's continue to support this incredible cause.
With heartfelt thanks,