After taking part in the Smiddy Fun Run for the last two years, Kevin Payne is looking forward to running 50 kilometres during Skin Cancer Action Week (November 15-21) as he takes on the 7 Days of Smiddy challenge during Smiddy Fun Week.
Introduced to the original Smiddy Fun Run three years ago by colleague and fellow team HEALTHe member Rod Leeuwendal, Kevin has enjoyed running around the PA Hospital campus each year, but with Covid-19 transforming Smiddy into a virtual event in the form of Smiddy Fun Week, it has given him the opportunity to raise funds for skin cancer research in a different way to how he would normally.
Kevin (second from left) alongside his Statistical Services Branch team mates
Setting himself the task of completing 50 kilometres over the 7 days of Smiddy Fun Week in November, the 63-year-old will break the challenge into smaller distances across the week, even taking some time off work to ensure he meets his goal.
"It's a bit of a challenge for me because I'm getting older and I'm not quite as fit as I used to be. But what I've done is I've broken up the challenge into parts. I've planned three 10km runs and then I'll walk the rest of it on the other recovery days," Kevin said.
"I've enjoyed the event. Together, the last two times, we rocked up and our team seems to be getting bigger each time, which is great. It's a bit disappointing with COVID that we couldn't do a real event this time and keep the team growing but it's good that we've still got something happening from a fundraising and from a participation point of view as well."
Kevin lives in Robina on the Gold Coast and enjoys running the Smiddy course each year so much that he stays in Brisbane the night before the race so that he can be fresh and ready on the morning of the race and save himself a very early drive up the M1. This year Kevin will take on his 50 kilometre Smiddy Fun Week challenge on the beautiful beaches, parks and lakes of the Gold Coast.
As a Technical Lead Developer for the Statistical Services Branch team of Queensland Health, Kevin said he is looking forward to Smiddy Fun Week and seeing what he and his fellow team members and colleagues in HEALTHe team can achieve, both in clocking up the kilometres and in raising vital funds for skin cancer research, adding that he looks forward to Smiddy each year.
Kevin pictured with family for his daughter's wedding day run"I've always been quite a keen runner and like to get involved with charity events and so on, but yes, Smiddy's the big one for me. I enjoy doing it because it's the only one that I do with people from the office," he said.
Keeping Kevin motivated this year is the strength his cousin, Mark, has shown through an ongoing struggle with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
"He's had that for over 20 years now, and he's still battling it. He's a really strong person, and we're very close as well. He lives over in Western Australia. I think everyone is sort of touched a little bit by the various cancers; either someone in the family or a close friend.
"He inspires me because, in the past, he's had really aggressive chemo, and illness and only just survived. And I don't know how he does it. At the moment his immune system's compromised and he gets this really bad cough and he can't go into work; I don't know how he keeps going."
You can show your support for Kevin's running and fundraising efforts by donating here.
You can donate direct to Team HEALTHe here.