By Max Davies
A HIDDEN Valley man is making preparations for a long-distance run later this year to raise funds for cancer research following the loss of a friend.
RUN4KB will be a week-long run traversing Victoria and has been organised by Kyle Gemmill in memory of close friend and colleague Brendon Warburton, known as KB, who passed away late last year after a seven-month battle with Ewing Sarcoma.
Mr Gemmill met KB 12 years ago while working with the police force and the pair bonded over a shared interest in defensive tactics, with KB known among those close to him for his generosity and selflessness in everyday life.
KB was a member of the elite Special Operation Group for 18 years of his Victoria Police career and passed away as a member of the group.
“Once KB passed back in November, I just thought ‘what can I do to potentially help out or raise money for a charity in relation to the cancer that he was suffering from?’,” Mr Gemmill said.
“On the day of the funeral, his wife Kimmie said she would rather people donate money to [the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre] than receive any gifts or flowers or anything like that. Pretty much once she said that, that was where it all started from.”
The run will see Mr Gemmill travel 441 kilometres across seven days, running the equivalent distance of a marathon and a half each day and camping at various locations instead of staying at paid accommodation.
RUN4KB is also operating in conjunction with Camp4Cancer through charity founder Ben Roarty, with the goal set at raising $100,000 for Ewing Sarcoma research with the Australia and New Zealand Sarcoma Association, ANZSA.
Mr Gemmill said he had allowed himself seven months to prepare for the run, mirroring the timeframe between KB’s diagnosis and his passing.
He said he wanted to honour KB’s memory and described him as a ‘no frills individual’ who was ‘tough as nails’.
“The concept of the run was that I still wanted to do something that I was going to enjoy, however, was going to be tough for me because I’m not a great runner just because of the weight that I used to sit at and my past injuries,” Mr Gemmill said.
“I knew that to really get the best out of it and immortalise KB and his traits was to do something that was physically going to test me.”
Mr Gemmill will begin the RUN4KB on November 3, starting in his hometown of Nathalia before visiting Shepparton, Yarrawonga, and Wangarratta and then travelling south to finish at the Victoria Police Centre in Melbourne’s CBD on November 9.
To make a donation, people can visit gofund.me/1f250133. For enquiries about sponsorship packages for the run, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit run4kb.com.