A MIRRABOOKA man is running 80-odd kilometres around the Lake Macquarie estuary to prompt locals to think about resilience and difficulty.
Digby King-Adams, 39, is tonight resting up having completed 42.2km of the journey - the equivalent of a marathon.
"I'm a little bit sore, but mentally I'm feeling good and ready to go and complete my mission tomorrow morning," the father of four said.
He set off under constant drizzle from Morisset Station just after 1am today.
His route took him through Wyee, and past Doyalson, Mannering Park, Chain Valley Bay, Cams Wharf, and Swansea.
He stopped at Belmont where he met up with wife Mandy for breakfast around 9am.
Mr King-Adams had been considering completing the circumnavigation in one day, but shelved those plans when he began to feel unwell at breakfast.
"I probably ate too much, and started to feel a bit light headed," he said.
He returned home to prepare to resume his run from Belmont about 6am on Friday.
Mr King-Adams said his mission was to raise awareness of the plight of two locals who currently needed the community's support.
They are Julie Ward, of Cooranbong, whose house on Freemans Drive was destroyed by fire on February 17, and Joanne Hitchick, of Brightwaters, who recently lost her husband, Andrew, after a motorcycle accident.
Separate Go Fund Me pages have been set up to collect financial donations for Ms Ward and Ms Hitchick and her children.
Mr King-Adams said there were two messages he'd like locals to consider as they read about his run.
"One of the main things that I want to draw attention to, other than the two causes, is the idea of resilience," he said.
"I'd like to encourage people to do something that pushes them a bit."
He's not calling on people to run a marathon.
There was, however, something that everyone could do in their lives to push their normal boundaries and grow their resilience, he said.
"I'd also like to redefine what difficult means," he said.
In modern society some people considered it "too difficult" to cope with trivial inconveniences, he said. Things such as having to get out of bed early, or dealing with the disappointment of having no internet connection or coffee, were big deals for some people, he said.
"For me, it's not difficult to do 80km compared to a family that's lost a family member, or a lady that's lost her house. It's all very relative.
"So I really want to encourage people to re-look at what difficult means, especially in this crazy season..."
Mr King-Adams said he had competed in seven marathons. His first was at age 18, and his most recent was the Sydney marathon, in 2017.
From the outset, Mr King-Adams said he found it easier to complete a marathon when there was a good reason to run.
"To me, causes are very powerful motivation," he said.
He completed his first marathon in New Zealand as a teenager, in 1999, when he ran to raise money for the Kosovo crisis, in Europe.
He said that during a marathon the mind can find various ways to ask the same question: Why are we putting ourselves through this?
It was good to have a solid answer, he said.
Mr King-Adams hoped to complete his journey around the lake tomorrow some time between 12pm and 2pm.
To back Mr King-Adams' efforts, and to make a financial donation to the Go Fund Me page for Julie Ward visit gofundme.com/f/1weyz3qnio.
To contribute to the fundraising efforts of the Hitchick family, go to gofundme.com/f/supporting-the-hitchicks