Body in Mind researchers running a bush marathon to help Indigenous Aussie kids

About 60km west of Sydney, Australia, are the Blue Mountains, so named because of the effect of southern sunlight through eucalyptus vapour. There is a famous walking trail that runs through a small section of the Blue Mountains, through what is arguably some of Australia’s roughest terrain and most spectacular ‘bush-scape’.

Next week, the BodyinMind research group will send off Helen Gilpin and Harrison Evans to take on the Six Foot Track, not in a gentle three day hike, but in a single day marathon. That’s right, on Tuesday August 20th, they will be running the Six Foot Track. They will leave before sunrise and return after sunset.

The Six Foot Track is not six foot long. It stretches 45 kilometres through wilderness. You have to take GPS beepers and tell the authorities you are going. It is not a walk in the bush, but a true physical challenge.  The Blue Mountains, a UNESCO world heritage area, has been the traditional land of the Darug and Gundungurra people for about 40 thousand years. The Six Foot Track passes through important sites in Aboriginal Heritage.

Helen and Harrison are doing their marathon, which includes 1200 metres of climbing, in the hope that the wider BodyinMind community will help them raise money for Indigenous Aussie Kids, living in remote communities. By sponsoring our two intrepid runners, you will be donating to Ian Thorpe’s Fountain for youth charity, which works to improve health, education and quality of life for these children and for their communities.

Why this cause? Well until our two English visitors arrived, they had no idea of the disadvantage and limited opportunities faced by kids in many of Australia’s Indigenous communities. They hope, that by busting their guts on the Six Foot Track, they can raise some funds and importantly some awareness of the issue both here in Australia and the world over.  Please support them by going here:

Helen Gilpin

Helen Gilpin Body in MindHelen worked and completed her MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging at The University of Nottingham, where she focused on using bodily illusions to alter the perception of pain in osteoarthritis sufferers. After a short study trip to BIM in 2012, during which she discovered that she simply cannot live without koalas, she has returned to Oz for much longer to continue to delve into the world of pain.

She has a specific interest in the mechanisms underlying the disturbances in body representation seen in various disorders, and wants to particularly focus on the relationship between body representation disturbances and chronic pain.

Helen likes sports, pub gardens, cheese, and most of all she likes a nice cup of tea! Before finally realising that her true passion lies in neuroscience, she tried her hand at a variety of colourful past times including, but not limited to, Thai boxing, cheerleading, tap dancing, candle making, and bassoon playing.