Cross-continent run to raise domestic violence dollars

Nyk Carnsew |

Domestic violence fundraiser Fran Hurndall is aiming to run from Perth to Sydney in 34 days.
Domestic violence fundraiser Fran Hurndall is aiming to run from Perth to Sydney in 34 days.

Not content with breaking a world record for dribbling a soccer ball long-distance, Fran Hurndall will attempt the fastest run across Australia to raise money for victims of domestic violence.

The retired English soccer player’s goal is to run cross-country from Perth to the Sydney Opera House in 34 days, covering 110km per day and beating the previous 39-day record.

The 32-year-old dribbled a soccer ball from the Gold Coast to Sydney to raise awareness of women’s sport during the 2023 Women’s World Cup, setting a Guiness World Record in the process.

“I’ve seen a couple people run from Perth to Sydney and obviously I just wanted to challenge myself,” Ms Hurndall told AAP.

Chris Turnbull set the previous record in December last year, beating Nedd Brockmann’s 2022 record of 47 days.

Ms Hurndall turned her attention to domestic violence after her sister escaped an abusive relationship earlier this year and moved back in with their mother.

“Not everyone is fortunate enough to have that luxury,” she said.

On average, one woman is murdered by her partner every week in Australia, and two thirds of victims never contact police.

Ms Hurndall hopes to raise $1 million for RizeUp, a charity that helps victim-survivors set up new homes.

“It costs on average around $6,000 for RizeUp to fit out a house,” she said.

“Six grand a house, that’s 166 houses we could furnish, and help families in need.”

Fran Hurndall running on a beach
Fran Hurndall hopes to raise $1 million to help victims of domestic violence set up new homes. (HANDOUT/PERMISSION PR)

The journey will take her through the Nullarbor Plain and the Great Victoria desert in south-central Australia, travelling 12-14 hours per day.

“There’s no hospitals anywhere. Just to think about that’s quite concerning, you know, anything can go wrong,” she said.

She’ll be supported by a logistics team in two vans providing food and water, and a trailer for sleeping.

She expects to burn about 7000 calories per day, and 11 pairs of shoes by the journey’s end.

She’ll also be supported by her partner Natalie Gidas, who works in police forensics and has investigated numerous domestic violence and homicide cases, including the murder of Hannah Clarke and her children in 2020. 

Besides raising money, Hurndall hopes to bring widespread attention to domestic violence.

“I just want to … make it easier for people to talk about these things, and for people to get help when when they need it,” she said.