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From crisis to champion: Lachy Cameron’s record-breaking run for mental health awareness

Katrina Tarrant only took up running in January but she’s already helped her son Lachy Cameron raise $33,000 for mental health awareness.

And while the Harcourts NSW and ACT chief executive officer is proud of that fact, she stresses this story is not about her, but the incredible power and resilience shown by Lachy, who recently ran from Brisbane to Sydney, breaking the Fastest Known Time record in the process.

Lachy, 28, ran the 925km in 10 days, seven hours, 56 minutes and 26 seconds, beating the previous record set in 2016 by a whole day.

“It was our son, Lachy’s run,” Katrina notes.

“This all came about because six years ago, he had an attempt on his own life, which came completely out of the blue for us as parents.

“This was our happy kid with a big smile on his face…How did we fail him so badly?”

Katrina says Lachy took up running during Covid and in four short years he has trained himself to become an elite athlete, as well as working full-time and completely turning his life around. 

The money the run raised will go to mental health awareness charity Heart on My Sleeve, which is a movement that highlights that mental wellness starts when you stop pretending everything is fine.

“He wanted to get out there every day to pound that pavement and suffer in public, so people know they don’t have to suffer in silence,” Katrina says.

“I took up running at the beginning of this year, so I was able to support him on this adventure and run stints with him to lift his spirits and ensure he didn’t feel alone.”

Lachy Cameron on his run from Brisbane to Sydney. Photo: Katrina Tarrant.

But Katrina wasn’t the only one behind Lachy and running short stints alongside him, so too was her husband Mick (known as Senior), Lachy’s physio Lydia, Ash, who was his first grade football captain, and his best mate Jack.

“It was a motley crew of all the different people he needed at different points in the run,” Katrina said.

As well as that support, Harcourts sponsored a support crew van for the run, there was tremendous support from Katrina’s offices and friends, family and even complete strangers donated money.

“All the way down the coast, because I have Harcourts offices, I had people turning up at 7pm at night on dark, cold freeways, clapping him as he was coming into his stops, cheering him on and waving the Harcourts’ clappers.

“Then there were people, because we had support crew t-shirts on, stopping us and saying, ‘What are you guys doing this for?’ And then they’d tell their own stories… and give us money,” she said.

Katrina Tarrant, Lachy Cameron and Harcourts Australia CEO Adrian Knowles before the run. Photo: Katrina Tarrant.

As well as supporting her son, Katrina said Lachy’s journey had opened the door to having conversations about mental health, and not suffering in silence, with numerous people in her life.

“Mental health is such a challenge for our industry, and Lachy’s run has given me the opportunity to engage in so many important conversations with my real estate family,” she said.

“My Harcourts offices were amazing standing on the side of dark cold freeways cheering him on and even running with him.  

“The real estate community rallied to get him home.”

Katrina notes there were also plenty of lessons that can be applied to various areas of life, including real estate.

“There were so many parallels to real estate in terms of, ‘How do you go from good to great, great to exceptional and exceptional to smashing a record of a legitimate athlete?’” she said.

“You surround yourself with the best people, you get the best coach, you get a nutritionist, you go and do the training and you do the work.

“But, at the end of the day, what got him through that run for 10 days, was his mindset and his determination.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Editor at Elite Agent.