Taking StepsTogether for the children

Inspirational ultra-marathon runner Kirrily Dear is preparing to step out for children who have been the victims of family violence.

Kirrily will set out on a 19 day journey from Broken Hill to Sydney in September, passing through Forbes on the way.

In November 2014 she ran from Walgett to Forbes in support of White Ribbon Day to raise awareness and help put an end to violence against women.

“It was really just about doing a run, running for a cause,” Kirrily said her of 2014 journey which ended in Forbes after 12 days, covering 860km.

“We became aware of the impact running could have, it was a great way for people to get into an uncomfortable subject,” she said.

After the 2014 run she helped establish Run Against Violence.

“It took another 12 months to decide to do the Broken Hill to Sydney run,” Kirrily said.

“I’m going to run from Broken Hill to Sydney, 1300kms over 19 days to give a voice to children who have experienced family violence.

“The children are often overlooked in the discussion, they are the silent victims.

“Our intent is to give them a voice, to help them be heard within the community and hear what they think needs to happen to bring an end to family violence.

“It’s about people coming together who have a common desire to see an end to the problem of family violence and really support those children,” Kirrily said.

Starting in Broken Hill on August 30 StepsTogether will make its way to Condobolin and Bogan Gate before arriving in Forbes on September 9 for a planned community event.

Kirrily will complete the 70km run from Forbes to Canowindra the following day, before heading to Orange, Blayney, Bathurst, Oberon, the 6 foot track to Katoomba, Penrith, Gladesville and finally the Sydney Opera House on September 17.

Kirrily said she wanted to return to Forbes as the town had “become a milestone place to revisit” following her 2014 run.

“I’ve been back a couple of times since, it’s nice to come back and see the progress” in relation to the stance the town has taken against family violence.

People can get involved by jumping on the Run Against Violence Facebook page.

A community event will be held in Forbes when Kirrily arrives.

“We’re also doing a virtual challenge in connection with the run,” she said.

“People can race me across the 1300km course, they can get a group of up to 10 friends together and over the 19 days walk, run and accumulate those kilometres.”

Teams from across the world are currently expressing an interest in taking part and Kirrily is hopeful teams from Parkes and Forbes will also get involved.

“Our aim is to get everyone together and to engage in family violence prevention,” she said.

Kirrily started running when she was 36 and fell in love with it, eventually joining a running club. Fourteen months later she completed her first 100km race.

She is passionate about doing something to stop domestic violence and so decided to run for the cause.

To show your support for Kirrily, make a donation to her cause go to runagainstviolence.com or the group’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/runagainstviolence