Jamin Heppell, from Australia, should have been able to spend his days in ease while being stuck in Bali due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, he chose to run the Island of the Gods’, north to the south.
This man from Leongatha, a small town southeast of Melbourne, Australia, took the route from Singaraja to Denpasar, which is 90km long.
Jamin arrived in Bali when residents in Australia were panic buying toilet paper as the country entered its first lockdown in March 2020. He intended to accompany his German girlfriend to both wait for the pandemic to subside in Bali.
While in Bali, Jamin witnessed how the local residents were struggling after the tourists left and are still yet to return. The tourism in this popular island is a sector that employs about 10 percent of people in Indonesia, which includes around 12 million workers. Realising that, Jamin was moved to do something.
“There hasn’t been a shortage of food but there are problems with the distribution,” he said.
The plan to run in Bali was just a private activity for Jamin, but turned into charity. Jamin claimed to be inspired by a 58 year old French man who ran the 90km of Mont Blanc. He decided it was time for him to do an ultramarathon too.
“I made a commitment to myself. Regardless of what happened at the activity, I ran 90km that weekend, wherever I was,” he said. “After about a month in Bali and witnessing economic collapse due to the lack of tourism impacted by COVID-19, I wanted to make a fundraiser. I have been privileged and looked after very well during my stay here.”
Jamin and his trainer compiled a training programme, map of the route to be taken, and formed a support team. “In the two weeks before I ran, we formed a partnership with the Bali Children Foundation and set a target of AU$9,000 for 90km,” he explained.
Within three weeks of the fundraising, Jamin exceeded the target and managed to raise AU$10,000 (around Rp100 million) for the Bali Children Foundation.
“I left at 3:30 in the morning. There were motorbikes in front and behind me. A supporting car that prepared a lot of food and drinks were present at every 5km,” said Jamin. “If I’m not mistaken, I ate 15 bananas, about one kilogramme of peanut butter, 250 grammes of dates, half a kilo of rice, and lots of coffee.”
Leave the Village, Expand Your Horizons
Jamin Heppell grew up in Leongatha, a city in the state of Victoria located on the east coast, about 135km from the city of Melbourne. The Heppell family is well known there for their athletic abilities. Jamin’s younger brother, Dyson, is now listed as the captain of the Essendon Football Club.
“I’m just a village boy, likes footy, likes basketball, and maybe one of the few people who liked school,” he said. Besides sports, Jamin claimed to also like leadership. He suggested that young people should dare to fully explore everything.
“After going abroad, I discovered how vast and rich the world is with cultural diversity. Leave the environment where you grow, expand your horizons, then bring valuable lessons back to your hometown to inspire other young people,” Jamin said.
Image: Detik News