Nick Ashill and Ted Chick may be very different, but they are united in their passion to raise awareness and make an impact in their communities.

Both men are undertaking massive treks across Australia in order to support vital issues, and they are eager to share their stories.


Nick Ashill and supporters on a run.


Racing for research 

Nick Ashill is a 59-year-old ultra marathon runner attempting to become one of five people to run across both America and Australia in their lifetime.

Starting April 15, he will be running almost 4000 miles across the country to raise money for respiratory research.

“Every step I take in April, May and June will symbolise the everyday struggles and challenges faced by those living with a respiratory condition,” he explains.

“Yes, I want to prove to myself that I can complete another cross-country run, but more importantly, I want people to know about the cause I am running for.”

The journey will take Nick across deserts and along the coast. He will start at Cottesloe Beach in Perth and end at Bondi Beach in Sydney in an odyssey that is estimated to last around 70 days. The run will be Nick’s toughest challenge yet, with a stretch of almost 300 km, or around 2-3 days of running, without passing through a single town in the heart of the Aussie desert.

When asked what motivated him to complete another arduous run, Nick reflected on his mother, who he lost to Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) in 2015. IPF impacts around 3 million people across the world, and there is currently no cure. Sadly, research estimates that around 6,300 Aussies will lose their fight to IPF this year alone. Nick will raise funds for the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation, which supports the development of research and knowledge around respiratory health.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, around 2.7 million Australians suffered from asthma in 2020-2021, and in 2023 chronic respiratory health issues were the 5th highest cause of disease burden in the country, highlighting the importance of Nick’s initiative. 

For those wishing to donate or follow Nick’s journey, his website provides all the important information. 

“I am not an elite runner. I am just an ordinary person wanting to do something extraordinary,” he adds.

“The memory of my mum and the fight she endured every day to breathe is a constant reminder of the importance of the Foundation’s work.”


Ted Chick with his family friend and classmate, Cormac (Mac) Downes.


Excerise awareness  

Ted Chick is a 16-year-old student running 550 km from Sydney to Armidale to raise awareness for sick kids in regional communities, starting April 24. 

Over 20 days, Ted will run from Sydney Children’s Hospital, all the way to his hometown of Armidale. On average, he hopes to run more than 25 kms every day.

Titled Miles4Mac, the run is inspired by Ted’s family friend Cormac (Mac) Downes, who is currently recovering from a tumour found on his spine. Ted is hoping to raise funds for Cormac and his family, as well as placing the spotlight on the struggle that regional children face when battling a serious illness. 

“I’ve seen how strong and determined Mac has been over the last six months and how his family had to figure out how to live in different cities all while dealing with cancer. This is what has motivated me to come up with the idea of Miles4Mac. This is something I can do to help.”

Those wishing to follow Ted’s progress or donate to the cause can head to his website, or keep up to date on the Miles4Mac social media. The funds raised by Miles4Mac, in conjunction with the Downes family, will be provided to Win The Day, a not-for-profit organisation supporting families with sick children both financially and emotionally. They provide accommodation, meal assistance and one-off treatment grants, as well as contributing to research into childhood cancers.

“I feel lucky that I can run for Cormac and all the regional kids who need our support,” Ted adds. “I am hoping together, we can make a difference and let them know they are not alone.”

To learn about 12 incredible charitable initiatives from 2023, click here.