Former AFL star Kevin Dyson weighs in at 90kgs and is not built like your average marathon runner. But he realised a lifelong ambition earlier this month when he conquered the Six Foot Track Marathon through 42kms of Blue Mountains bushland, raising more than $4000 for the Cancer Council in the process.
“I have always wanted to do a marathon but didn’t want to do it on a road after all the wear and tear of football over the years,” explained Dyson, who played more than 110 games for the Melbourne Demons and Sydney Swans in the mid-1990s. “I have also wanted to raise money for cancer research since the death of my mother a couple of years ago.
“People thought I was mad to pick arguably the hardest marathon in Australia to do first up but it was fun,” he said. “I felt really good during the run but got quite sore a couple of days later. The last 2.5kms was downhill on loose gravel and that really took its toll. I think my body strength was very significant because people were going over left, right and centre with cramps towards the finish.”
Dyson, a national security software salesman for BMC Software, earned the respect of leaner and more experienced athletes by finishing in the top 90 of almost 650 starters with a competitive time of 4hrs 54mins. He credits his success to the guidance of 55-year-old endurance guru,
John Lindsay, who provided his training program. He also thanked Nokia for providing two mobile phones that he used to drum up sponsorship pledges.
This year was the 20th annual running of the Six Foot Track Marathon but Dyson will not tackle it again next year due to family commitments.
Already a father-of-two, his wife is expecting their third child in July.
“I have achieved my goal by finishing the race without letting anyone down and raising money for the Cancer Council,” he said. “I have proved to myself that my body can cope and can do it again if I want — but there would have to be a very good reason.