For the ninth year in a row, Brittany Austin will be taking on the 7 Bridges Walk, a 28km walking challenge to raise money for people affected by cancer.
“When I did my first one in 2013, my grandfather was battling liver and stomach cancer at the time, my rottweiler had bone cancer, and a few of our relatives and friends have been diagnosed with cancer,” Brittany recalls.
“My best friend was in a motorbike accident, and I really wanted to do something to support other people.”
Together with her mum and cousins, Brittany completed her first walk.
“For my mum to go out and walk 28km was a big thing, but she did it,” she says.
Since then, it has become an annual tradition for Brittany and her team, Austin Powers. The group has grown every year, with last year being their biggest to date. This year, due to COVID restrictions, Britt will be walking solo or getting a friend along.
“Everyone had been impacted by cancer – a few people in our team had either beaten cancer or were still fighting cancer,” Brittany says.
“I’ve had a lot of people who’ve been impacted by cancer. I enjoy doing the walk with my mum and family and friends. It’s the walk where we talk about those people we’ve lost to cancer or who are going through cancer. We use it as a fun day to remember everyone.
“It’s one day hard for us, but for people going through cancer it’s much longer.”
7 Bridges Challenge
Although the 7 Bridges Walk has gone virtual for a second year – becoming the 7 Bridges Challenge — Brittany says she is determined to complete the challenge.
“Last year, we did the classic course, even though it was the virtual challenge. We did get lost a bit.” she says.
“One of our friends’ partner was going fighting cancer, and we met them on the bridge and cracked a bottle of champagne for him. It was raining, and it was not a great day weather-wise, but it was still fun, it felt like the same as any other year.”
“This year will be hard – depending on COVID-19 restrictions, I might be doing it by myself. But we’ll still go ahead even if I’m walking solo.”
“I’m determined to walk 10 years in a row, so I need to do this year. It’s still raising funds, the cause behind it means the same. I’ll just call a lot of people, and we’ll walk it separately.”
Uniting with the community
A highlight of the walk for Brittany is seeing the local community unite for a good cause.
“Even last year, when we did the virtual challenge, people came up and asked us if we were doing the walk,” she says.
“One of my favourite parts about 7 Bridges Walk is the community that comes with it, you’re all working together for the same thing, and the amount of friends you make on the walk.”
Brittany encourages everyone who is taking on the 7 Bridges Challenge to remember why they are doing it.
“You’ll get halfway and you might be tired, but just keep thinking about the people,” she says.
“I’ll be listening to inspiring podcasts and stories – there’s so many inspiring stories out there. And hopefully, once people get through that, it’ll also inspire them on their own exercise journey.”
Join Brittany in taking on the 7 Bridges Challenge and help raise funds for people impacted by cancer. Conquer 28km on Sunday, 24 October or over one week (24 – 30 October).