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Troopertrek 2011



Jacob French, a 21 year old from Busselton, Western Australia, decided to walk from Perth in Western Australia to Sydney in New South Wales to raise money for the Starlight Foundation.

On his facebook page Jacob says the following:

Over the course of the trek I will cross 4 states and cover approximately 5000km’s in modified stormtrooper armour. The plan for now is to push a lightweight buggy with needed supplies an average distance of 35-40km’s for 5 days a week until the trek is complete.

I am a member of the worldwide “501st Legion”, a volunteer organisation that wears quality star wars outfits for Star Wars related events and as a means to contribute to their local communities through charity work. My involvement with the 501st Legion has been a fantastic experience and I have had plenty of opportunities to put on my suit of armour and entertain the public.

In October 2010 I participated in the RunMelb Half marathon (21kms) in my stormtrooper suit. The suit was restrictive and got quite hot while I was running, but the seed was planted for the troopertrek idea. Since the marathon I have started to train regularly for this event and have acquired a much lighter and flexible set of armour that will be trimmed for better movement. I am hoping that by choosing to wear stormtrooper armour I will be able to gather more attention for the cause I am running for and have a bit of a laugh along the way. If there are any social events along the route that you think might benefit from having a stormtrooper attend, let me know!

Follow Troopertrek on twitter or facebook.

Troopertrek Diary

Monday 11 July – Lay awake going over the list last night, then a 6am wakeup to repack the buggy. Good thing it’s waterproof because the rain doesn’t look like letting up in the next few hours.

Day one complete! 22kms down, nice and easy so I can work up to the 40km average. Feet are still killing me though!

Tuesday 12 July – Just wanted to say a huge thankyou for all the encouragement and support I have received so far! This morning was harder to get out of bed, but I’m still planning on hitting 25km minimum today. Today’s route takes me down the Roe Hwy until it hits the Kwinana fwy, at which point I can really start to power walk my way down south 🙂 Having afternoon tea next to the freeway. Weather is great, but I picked a lousy day to wear thermals… My buggy (I’m sitting on the swag) about 2km before The front wheel snapped off 😉

Achievement unlocked: destroy the troopertrek trolley!

Still made it another 10kms 🙂

Today was eventful! Woke up with my stomach worse than yesterday and breakfast threatened to come back up a few times. I started walking at about 11am, wore thermals on what turned out to be a warm sunny day, and this afternoon the front wheel of the buggy sheared off. All up I trekked 29kms today 🙂

Wednesday 13 July – Day 3 of the trek and fingers crossed to hit the 40km mark today so I can reach mandurah. The buggy seemed to do alright on the remaining two wheels last night so things are well as I head off!

Made it to mandurah tonight, but was running a bit behind schedule because of the interview with channel ten earlier on the day. Rather than risk main road traffic in the dark I caught a maxi taxi driven by Shane, a top notch bloke, the last little stretch into town. Going on coast radio tomorrow morning and going back to walk the stretch I missed tonight 🙂

While I am in mandurah I am very blessed to have met Phil and Mary from Timbertop caravan park, two of the nicest people I have met. They have put me up in a cabin so I can get a good rest out of the cold, and a delicious dinner of pasta bake to fill the tummy. Very grateful for their generosity 🙂

Originally published in Dark Matter issue 4, July 2011.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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