Charlie Duncan reaches Byron after 1700km skateboard ride

UPDATE 1pm: IF you had just ridden a skateboard 1700km from Melbourne to Byron Bay, arriving footsore after a long and difficult journey, what would you do?

Quite possibly the same as Charlie Duncan, who has just arrived at the Bay a few hours early and headed straight for the beach.

Mr Duncan made the epic journey to raise funds for Aspergers Australia

Congratulations on your achievement Mr Duncan.

Rolling for Aspergers participant Charlie Duncan will finish his Melbourne to Byron fundraising effort today.
Rolling for Aspergers participant Charlie Duncan will finish his Melbourne to Byron fundraising effort today. Marc Stapelberg

INITIAL REPORT: ROAD KILL has been the main hazard Charlie Duncan has encountered during his epic 1700km skateboarding adventure from Melbourne to raise money for Aspergers Australia.

"We have had heaps of kangaroos and now coming up north there has been lots of snakes," Mr Duncan said.

Yesterday, Mr Duncan, his two cameramen and support crew rolled into Ballina.

The Melbournian said he grew up on a skateboard, and after seeing a close friend deal with his son's aspergers, skating to Byron Bay to raise money for Aspergers Australia was a no-brainer.

>> Want to support Charlie? Click here

To prepare for the gruelling journey, Mr Duncan trained most days for several months.

"I started off at 20km a day and slowly built the distance up."

He stepped it up for the last month.

"I was trying to do on average between 60km and 80km a day so I was prepared for the trip."

During the 24 days so far, Mr Duncan said he had averaged 80km to 90km per day.

"Our first day we did about 140km, but every day since has been around 80km to 90km so I know physically I can make it."

Aspergers signs and symptoms

  • An obsessional interest in a subject but little or no interest in other issues
  • Poor social interactions despite a high level of language
  • A lack of common sense
  • Learning difficulties and/or a delay in learning to speak
  • Clumsiness or poor co-ordination skills compared to the agility of someone with autism.

The length of time on the skateboard each day depended on road conditions.

Along the Hume Hwy, Mr Duncan started at 5am each day to beat the heat.

"Generally I'm on the board for five to six hours a day, but on the bigger days it can be up to 10 hours with breaks."

"At the end of the day I'm absolutely exhausted."

The constant pounding has taken its toll on Mr Duncan's body.

"I've got hairline fractures in my shins and fluid on my knees but I'm not giving up now," he said.

"Doctors have told me to get off my legs but I've got to finish this event.

"I've got a set of crutches I use to get around on when I'm not skateboarding to relieve a bit of the pain."

So far Mr Duncan has raised more than $10,000.

Today he will arrive in Byron about 3.30pm before going to a fundraiser at The Railway Hotel from 6pm.

Topics:  aspergers syndrome byron bay skateboarding

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