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Ferris Gump: 'Why I am running bum-naked through Belgium'

RUNNER: Ben Ferris, aka Ferris Gump, in Darwin LAST YEAR. Photo Mark Wilton / Rural Weekly
RUNNER: Ben Ferris, aka Ferris Gump, in Darwin LAST YEAR. Photo Mark Wilton / Rural Weekly Mark Wilton

BYRON Bay local Ben Ferris, also known as Ferris Gump, has repeated his plea for support from the local community for his new adventure: he will run across Belgium, bum naked and barefoot, to raise funds to plant trees near the Great Barrier Reef.

Speraking from France, where he is currently at, the extreme runner explain his idea to run across Belgium.

"I have now decided to run across Belgium barefoot and bare bum, wearing a g-string and thongs, to help try and raise my extra $500 to get me over the line of my small reasonable target I set out to achieve," he said.

The Byron local, who works as a barista on the Northern Rivers, said his final goal was to raise $1000 for beardson.org to help plant trees up near the Great Barrier Reef.

The runner directed locals to support his fundraising page on https://www.beardson.org/ferrisgump

"That adds up to 500 happy trees for our childrens future and to help take some stress of the Great Barrier Reef," he said.

"As little as $2 will help plant one tree. 

"I have 4700 followers on my Ferris Gump page and I was trying to be realistic with a small target of less then a 1/4, - 1/9 of my followers to kindly donate $2 x 500 people = a very easy and doable target to achieve.

"Well, I was wrong, it has been challenging.

"I've raised money much easier on the streets in Byron Bay with face to face contact."

Besides the fudnraising, Ferris Gump said his challenges have a deeper goal.

"If I can make one person laugh or make there day then I have done my bit," he explained. 

"I can't make everybody happy, that is a person choice and its up to you wether you choose to 'feel good' or not.

"Shine your light brighter and start giving your love and happiness away. After all we only have one Life so why not try and maximise it by being less fearful and taking more risks and start by being who you truly want to be in this world."

Across England

Ferris Gump said he just completed a world record run across England in his '#maraTHONGS'.

"I am one of a few people in the world who run in thongs, let alone long distances," he said.

"I ran from Brighton - Bristol during one of England's Biggest heat waves a month ago on their longest day of the year."

"I ran the first five hours barefoot.

"I ran 227km in two days, 23:54 hurs with only 4.5 hours of sleep on the first night, and I also ran via Stonehenge."

He said he also choses not to use a support car in his sport feats.

"I run with no support car, with a 0% carbon footprint, and push my own trolley with all my belongings of a total average weight of 35kg."

"My message is 'feel good'"

Fwerris Gump's life involves running for different charities, plus his own project called Marathongaus.

"I aim to inspire young indigenous kids and kids in general to take up running as a healthy outlet in life, as I know how much it has helped me and has taken me all around the world," he said.

"I love my life and I wouldn't change it for the world.

"My running has now become an adventure and my message is 'feel good'.

"I focus on the word 'be', to be my best all the time and encouraging others to do the same.

The runner also asked his followers and the broader community to inreract with him online during his advetures.

"I am doing all the hard work and all I'm after from my online followers is to help supporting me by interacting more with my life when I am away from my Byron Bay home, running around the world, trying to make a positive difference in one way or another," he said. 

Last year, Ferris Gump ran across Australia from Townsville, via Cairns to Darwin, covering 3,125km in 46 running days, and raised $7000 for the Royal Flying Doctors Service.

Ferris Gump's next big run is back in Australia in four weeks time to participate in the Run Against Violence.

Topics:  byron bay extreme runner ferris gump fundraiser


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