Kickstarting SIDS research
River Waddell was just 128 days old when he lost his life to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in November 2011. Devastated, his parents Karl Waddell and Alex Hamilton (pictured with daughter Shiloh) vowed to help researchers find a cure. KARL, a 39-year-old business administrator from Geelong, Victoria, first caught the running “bug” at school athletics and cross-country meets. Since losing his son, his passion for running reignited. Together, Karl and 32-year-old actress and event manager Alex use running as a vehicle for fundraising. Their “River’s Gift” campaign has raised $125,000 for SIDS research so far.
“To see people run their first 6K, 10K, half- or full marathon in our ‘Running for River’ singlet and touch their heart on the finish line, close their eyes and think of our little boy, and all the other babies out there, brings tears to our eyes every time.”
In 1980 Tracy Braithwaite was a member of a running club at her school, but hated running. Thirty-two years later, at age 47, the property consultant from Macquarie Links, NSW, reluctantly started running again, at the request of her personal trainer. That was in April last year – now, Braithwaite runs 15-20 kilometres per week and can’t imagine life without running. This May Braithwaite completed her first fun run, the Mother’s Day Classic 4km in 20:33 – crossing the line ahead of her husband.
“I love the feeling I get from running. Previously I could always find an excuse not to run or train, but now it is a part of my life and I am very grateful for it. It is not always easy, but then nothing worthwhile ever is.”
When John Grimm first took up running five years ago, he could barely run around the block. Since then, the 51-year-old from Whyalla, South Australia, has run numerous half-marathons – such as the Northern Argus Clare Valley Half Marathon (2:03:58). Last year, the steel worker ran his first full marathon, the Pichi Richi marathon – one of the hilliest marathons in Australia – in 5:01:16.
“I’m not the fastest runner, and I will never place first, but I’m happy to give it a go. No matter where you finish, as long as I give it my best, I feel like a winner.”