10 North Road, Wynnum West, Queensland 4178

Meet The Redlands Man Gearing Up To Run 7 Marathons In 7 Days

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Dave Roby finds it hard to turn down a challenge.


The Redlands gym owner signed up for the seven marathons in seven days across seven Australian states after stumbling across the challenge on a charity website.  


He’s got a changed perspective on life, after nearly dying in 2016. Speaking on the Rebuild Health & Fitness podcast, Roby says: “You never can take anything for granted. I thought I was invincible from a fitness point of view – I could do anything, and then this happened, where I’m struggling to walk a 4m hill.” Roby was hospitalised with pneumonia, his lung function down to 3% capacity. He contracted a disease while travelling and says things quickly deteriorated. “I went away, on a trip to the UK. On Christmas Day, we went into the Black Sea - swimming.”


A few days later, on the trip back to Australia was when things took a turn. He says: “As soon as we got to the airport on the 28th, I remember saying ‘I’m not going too well,’. When we got to Singapore, I didn’t talk to anyone or eat anything. By the time we got to Brisbane I hadn’t eaten anything, for about 36 hours.”

Roby landed in Brisbane, and his parents rushed him to the emergency room. But they didn’t discover what was wrong, or how bad it was in the initial stages.


“I went to hospital, stayed there for about four hours and they sent me home. Next thing, I’m back in the hospital, this time they brought a specialist in to me and said ‘listen, we need to get him to the Mater [Hospital], his lungs are starting to fail,’ I was completely lethargic, I couldn’t move, I was vomiting everywhere, I was sweating, I wasn’t sleeping. I thought; I am dying here. I’m not coming back from this. I can’t explain – I didn’t think I was still kicking. I though this is me. This is where I fade out. I got to the hospital, went straight into ICU.”


The outlook was so bleak, at one stage, Roby’s family was even brought in to say their goodbyes. But he managed to get through it and bounce back – eventually. But recovery was a long road.  


He says it took nearly 12 months for him to get back to feeling normal and training again. And now, he’s become an unstoppable force. He’s signed up for the seven marathons in seven days, he’s owner of Velocity Fitness in Capalaba, owns Power Supps retail stores, launched a café, and is always looking for his next challenge and working with charities. He says: “I just go for anything now, and it’s just ‘make it happen, do whatever you have to do to make it happen and if you die trying, you die trying’.”


He’s not the typical runner archetype, measuring around 6-foot tall and hovering around 98kg on the scales, but it won’t stop him running the 777 – that is, seven marathons in seven states in seven days. 


“Velocity works with a charity every month, for the 12 months of the year, we choose a different charity for each 12 and I ask the gym in December, for the year to come – I say nominate the charities you like to work with. One of our members, her job is to work in the realm of kids who are getting sexually exploited for pornography. She mentioned Brave Hearts, so I looked into it, just to see what the charity is all about. I saw they had this 777; as soon as I saw it, I was like ‘uh oh, I’m going to think about doing this’.”


He quickly signed up for the challenge and is training, preparing for the feat, which begins in Perth on June 28, Adelaide on June 29, Melbourne on June 30, followed by Launceston, Sydney, Canberra and then finishing on the Gold Coast on July 4.


“It’s a test for me. It’s always easy to work in a comfortable environment. For someone who can swim, it’s easy to do 1000m to raise money. For me to do 42k is hard enough, and then to do it seven times in seven states, with no sleep and having to fly…”


His philosophy is simple – his suffering is less than that of the benefactors of his fundraising. “The fact that I’m going to be in an environment that I’m not massively comfortable nor wanting to be in, I just relay that back to the kids – these kids are going through what would be in most people’s eyes, the worst scenarios of all time. For me, if I’m thinking I’ve got to hurt to go for a run, I’m all good.”


Hear more about Roby and his adventures on the Rebuild Health & Fitness podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you stream your podcasts.



You can connect with Roby on Instagram, or see the website to support his fundraising. 





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