REAL AUSTRALIA

Voice of Real Australia: Running out of clothes on the road

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Making yourself get out of bed to run in freezing temperatures at dawn is worth it when you get to see sights like these - Springsure's Virgin Rock, the majestic Boeing 747-200 honouring the beginnings of Qantas at Longreach, and the Balonne River at St George.

Making yourself get out of bed to run in freezing temperatures at dawn is worth it when you get to see sights like these - Springsure's Virgin Rock, the majestic Boeing 747-200 honouring the beginnings of Qantas at Longreach, and the Balonne River at St George.

They say clothes maketh the man (or woman) and I'm here to say how much I now appreciate active wear.

I'm between homes at the moment and living largely out of a suitcase anyway as I travel throughout western Queensland to report on the spring bull sales, so I ended up with no leggings or sweatshirt packed for an early morning run last week.

No matter, I thought, I'll just run in yesterday's jeans and T-shirt.

Well, no-one looks twice at a jogger in lycra but wear daytime clothes and they think you're a fugitive escaping from the law!

Every second shift worker heading out of Springsure was slowing down and asking if I was OK, which was thoughtful but not doing a lot for my cadence.

My training track prior to this had been beside the bitumen of the Landsborough Highway, waving to early morning triple road trains and trying to avoid the occasional spray of bovine urine as they passed.

My usual early morning companions - triple road trains loaded with cattle for southern markets.

My usual early morning companions - triple road trains loaded with cattle for southern markets.

That's a far cry from the flight deck that HMAS Albatross sailor Leading Seaman Scott Tunnard pounded in his quest to keep fit during his sea deployment this year.

Pretty sure I would have been curled up in a bunk fighting off seasickness.

There's plenty out there using their penchant for running to help sick people, such as Hawkesbury cancer charity Pink Finss founder Jodie Amor, who's running 10 kilometres a day for 10 days.

The group would have been celebrating its 10th anniversary at its 10th annual race day but instead asked people to put the money they would have spent on an outfit towards Jodie's run.

Now, I might run for an hour or two, three mornings a week but I have to take my hat off to ACT Comet cricketer Blake MacDonald who undertook a 24-hour run to raise money for Lifeline Australia, "to keep busy" during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Not sure any of the above have endured the agony of running through spear grass though, which is as bad as its name sounds.

Known for spiralling into the flesh of sheep and contaminating their meat, an opportunistic run down a long bush track when I joined friends called out to a job, gave it the chance to attack my tender ankles.

No clothing choice, except maybe galoshes, would have saved me in this instance.

No photograph does justice to the itching of the spear grass that pierced my shoes and thick socks on its way to embedding itself between my toes. I threw the socks away.

No photograph does justice to the itching of the spear grass that pierced my shoes and thick socks on its way to embedding itself between my toes. I threw the socks away.

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