Andre Jones takes on solo fundraising journey around Australia

WHAT LIES AHEAD: Andre Jones on his 2017 Melbourne to Darwin adventure. The former Nowra resident will visit Milton, Nowra and Kiama later this month on his year-long run around Australia which kicked-off on Sunday. Photo: Facebook.

WHAT LIES AHEAD: Andre Jones on his 2017 Melbourne to Darwin adventure. The former Nowra resident will visit Milton, Nowra and Kiama later this month on his year-long run around Australia which kicked-off on Sunday. Photo: Facebook.

Most people don't consider a run from Melbourne to Darwin as a "warm up" but when it comes before a trek around Australia, that's exactly what it is. 

Fifty-seven-year-old Andre Jones laced up the joggers and hit the road on Sunday, March 10. 

He's running and walking his way around Australia to raise funds and awareness for four charities; Beyond Blue, GO Foundation, Royal Flying Doctor Service and The Smith Family.

The former Nowra resident will make a stop in Milton, Nowra and Kiama later this month on his 15,000 kilometre adventure. 

He's hoping to raise $60,000 - a dollar per kilometre for each of the four charities he's chosen to support. 

Andre took on his Melbourne to Darwin trek in 2017, raising money for Beyond Blue. He's well-versed in the physical and mental challenges that lay ahead. 

"I'll be on the road for 343 days so I expected my wife to say 'no way' but I used to be in the Navy so she's used to me being away," Andre said. 

"I think the biggest challenge will be the mental attitude and being able to push through, knowing the next day with be the same. 

"My wife asked me when I ran to Darwin when the hardest day was and I said 'day two' but she nailed it when she said 'if you were doing it for yourself, you probably wouldn't have made it but you're doing it for a cause bigger than you'." 

Andre will be reunited with his wife on his finish date of Valentine's Day, 2019. 

THE ROUTE: Andre will use a four-wheeled buggy - ‘Intrepid II’ - to house all his gear for the next year, and will be generally relegated to roads, preferably sealed. He'll be running along the major roads/highways near the coastline. Going across the top end of Australia, he will be running on the 3,500km Savannah Way. Source: runaroundaustralia.com

THE ROUTE: Andre will use a four-wheeled buggy - ‘Intrepid II’ - to house all his gear for the next year, and will be generally relegated to roads, preferably sealed. He'll be running along the major roads/highways near the coastline. Going across the top end of Australia, he will be running on the 3,500km Savannah Way. Source: runaroundaustralia.com

While he's been jogging and training regularly, Andre isn't taking on the fundraising adventure as a race. He plans to enjoy the journey, take photos and talk to people wherever he goes. 

He plans to cover around 25 kilometres on some of his faster days. Palm Cove near Cairns and Broome are two towns he's particularly keen to visit. 

Andre will be pushing a buggy on his journey, setting up his own camp, cooking his own meals and applying his own first aid. If you see him on the road, donate a dollar and have a chat. 

He'll visit Milton on March 27, Nowra on March 28 and Kiama on March 29.

LACE UP: Some of the many pairs of joggers Andre wore on his 2017 run. He expects to go through around 16 pairs of shoes this time around. Photo: Facebook.

LACE UP: Some of the many pairs of joggers Andre wore on his 2017 run. He expects to go through around 16 pairs of shoes this time around. Photo: Facebook.

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