HAVE you ever thought about running from Perth to Sydney?
No, me neither - purely because of the pain it would put on my body.
However, former Ulladulla resident Troy Jones is about to take up that challenge.
"Just under three years ago, I did a fun run called Sutherland 2 Surf," Jones said.
"It was supposed to be a fun run but for me, it was the complete opposite - it was brutal.
"Halfway through, my legs pretty much stopped working and once I finally dragged myself over the finish line, the pain was gone and the achievement set in.
"So I had two choices from that day - quit running or try and become the best runner I can be.
"I hated running for a long time after that.
"I used it as a tool for everyday life. If I can run almost every day then everything else in that day can't get much worse.
"It all started there and once I'd completed a few bigger runs, I wanted to tackle what I thought was one of the hardest foot races I could find, which is called Racing the Planet.
"The event is a six-stage multi-leg marathon, spanning over 250kms over the world's toughest deserts, carrying all the supplies you need for those six days.
"I told one of my friends my plan and he said "why don't you make your own? Why not Perth to Sydney?" That is how this run came to life."
The pain he's expecting to endure is nothing to what he's dealt with in his life to date.
"I lost a good friend of mine seven years ago, which spiralled me out of control to heavy drug use as an escape," the 28-year-old said.
"I was never addicted to drugs, I was addicted to the escape that it gave me in such a dark time of my life.
"As life went on, I found myself falling back into it after a long term relationship ended, having to put one of my dogs down and another friendship ending all in a matter of months.
"That's when I realised there's something more than falling back into these same old ways."
On average there are six suicides per day in Australia and almost 60,000 attempts per year - with 45 per cent of people suffer from a mental illness during their lifetime.
It's because of these lessons that the current Caringbah resident will be completing this run to raise both money and awareness for mental health.
"The importance of the run is to grab people's attention," he said.
"The statistics of mental illness and suicide speak for themselves.
"Suicide is the biggest silent killer that no one wants to talk about and that has to change.
"The more people speak of it, are aware and educated about mental illnesses and suicide, then there is a much greater chance of people reaching out before it's too late.
"Society has made men scared and embarrassed for seeking help if they need it which is why the rate of male suicides are so high.
"The suffering and pain I'm about to put my body are so people don't have to.
"People are living with mental illness every day and if this journey can save one life then it's a job well done."
Jones, with the company of his partner, will start his 3931km journey on Thursday, where he aims to run 60km per day for 65 straight days.
"The first few weeks, waiting for the body and the mind to align and realise that I'm not going to stop are going to be hard, so we all have to work together," Jones, who aims to keep everyone updated via his Instagram and his website before making a short documentary upon completion, said.
"My partner [Olivia Ward] will be supporting me in a motorhome and she is my one-person support team - she will take care of everything apart from running.
"I also have a few friends and family coming throughout the trip which will be great and something to look forward to.
"However, also the last day, I have a shorter day, so I'm sure I'll have people joining me on the last leg back into Cronulla."
If you'd like to support Jones on his journey, you can visit his website here.