IT?S A RECORD
By MURRAY SIMPSON
EXHAUSTED polewalkers Michael and Jay Gates crept over the finish line at the South Tweed Bowls Club yesterday after an epic non-stop 154km trek.
In the process the father-and- son team drummed up $15,000 in aid of the little known group called PIPA (Pre-term Infants Parents Association).
The pair not only broke the world endurance mark - they obliterated it.
The previous mark was set by Michael at 24 hours at the same time last year. This time they went 36 hours, one minute and 36 seconds, according to their official timekeeper. Other statistics reveal a story of growing desperate exhaustion with noon temperatures on the road yesterday reaching over 40 degrees.
For the first 12 hours they averaged 5.9kph. The next 12 hours averaged 4.1 kph and the last 12 hours a desperate struggle at 2.4kph.
"The last 12 hours were done on pure heart," said support team member Kay Ball.
"We seriously suggested they give it up, but they dug in and did it on ticker."
A weary and sunburnt Jay Gates said he felt remarkably lucid after the ordeal.
The intrepid pair's journey took them from Tweed Heads to Kingscliff and back, hour after hour, though towards the latter stages they shortened the course so they did not have to tackle Sexton Hill.
Along the way support crews provided food, and even a massage, but they had only the briefest of comfort stops.
Yesterday's endurance record brings the total of Michael's fundraising to $40,000 for PIPA.