CARDINIA U3A invited people to discover their inner student during and open day on Saturday. Visitors were introduced to classes such as china paintin... Read More »
THERE ain’t no mountain high enough for 33-year-old Berwick gym regular Colin Donald.
Mr Donald, once a physical wreck, is registered for the world’s highest marathon on Mt Everest in May next year.
It’s remarkable that he is on his feet at all after a critical motorbike crash 14 years ago that severed an artery, and shattered his leg and pelvis.
The Belgrave tradie was told by onlookers on Eastern Freeway at the time that his bike was clipped by a car causing him and his bike to strike the rear of a hatch and launch metres in the air.
As he lay in Royal Melbourne Hospital heavily dosed on painkillers, doctors advised Mr Donald’s mother that his left leg has to be amputated.
Otherwise, he will not walk again, the experts told her.
Fortunately, she refused. She said it was up to Mr Donald to make the decision.
“I didn’t want to be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life,” he says.
“I was planning to walk again – and that was pretty much it.”
During a gruelling year of rehab, Mr Donald walked first on crutches. He then took what was at first a “very small step” unassisted.
He recalls the intense pain as blood rushed down into his leg the first time he eased it off the side of his hospital bed.
His scarred lower left leg, swollen by lymphedema, is a visible though painless reminder of the journey.
Just two years ago, Mr Donald had an idle life and reckons he wouldn’t have been able to run three kilometres let alone a marathon. Then he took another giant step.
He booked himself into an intense regime at commando camps, boxing, kick-boxing and weights up to three sessions a day at Personal Performance Training Centre in Berwick.
Mr Donald credits the gym’s brother coaches Lochlan and Marcus Burke at the aptly-named Intrepid Street gym for urging him on in his pursuit, dropping 39 kilos and now being the image of health.
They are pushing each other in the midst of a healthy diet blitz termed the 12-week Challenge at the moment.
In his training, Mr Donald is running plenty of steep kilometres in the Dandenongs – including a 15-kilometre trek from Belgrave to Cockatoo and the Thousand Steps.
He with another five Personal Performance regulars have just competed in a Spartan half-marathon, which is a 21-kilometere run combined with a commando obstacle course.
An avid adventure-book reader, Mr Donald is also inspired by the travails of Australian explorers Cas and Jonesy, who have kayaked unsupported to New Zealand and Antarctica.
He yearns to summit Everest and the 6000-plus kilometre Himalayan peak Ama Dablam.
In neat symmetry, next year’s marathon will begin nearly 15 years to the day after Mr Donald’s crash.
After 10 days of acclimatising to the thin air, Mr Donald and about 150 runners will start from Everest Base Camp.
During their undulating 42km run, they finish at Namche Bazaar about two kilometres below. The rocky route features many climbs, including a 523-metre rise.
“I’m expecting it’s going to be hard. The last thing I want is to twist my ankle on the rocks in the first 500 metres.”
In the lead-up, Mr Donald hopes to raise $50,000 for the Australian Himalayan Foundation.
All funds go towards Nepalese earthquake victims and the ongoing rebuild.
To donate, go to www.facebook.com/colinseverestmarathon
POLICE are searching for a car thief who set the vehicle ablaze in Berwick earlier this year.
In late May, a green Ford Festiva, bearing registration 1ED 6JB, was stolen from the Berwick railway station.
The car was used to steal petrol from Kooweerup a few days later.
Police said the vehicle was last seen at 4am on 31 May on Kooweerup – Longwarry Road, Catani, before it crashed near Humphries Road and was set alight.
Police believe the male, pictured, may be able to assist with the investigation.
If you know who he is or anything about the incident, contact Detective Senior Constable Osborne at Cardinia CIU on 5945 2584 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
A woman tried to hold up a Dandenong North milk bar with a plastic knife and hand-written note.
She entered the Birch Avenue store about 10.30am on Friday 22 July and approached the 19-year-old cashier.
Greater Dandenong CIU Detective Senior Constable Nic Hayes said she produced a knife in one hand, described as plastic-looking and about 20 centimetres long.
The would-be thief demanded money and produced a note that read, “I will shoot you, don’t test me, I’ve just come out of jail.”
Another milk bar employee returned to the shop floor from the building’s rear and the woman fled.
Det Sen Const Hayes said the milk bar staff gave chase but lost sight of the woman after a short distance.
Call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 with any information.
A MALE driver has died after crashing a car on Princes Highway in Doveton on 25 July.
The man was the sole occupant of the car, which veered off the highway near Power Road and struck a tree about 7pm.
The man died at the scene, according to police, who are continuing investigations.
Any information to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestoppersvic.com.au