Innovators put their bodies on the line

Two of Mackay’s prominent figures, in more ways than one, have teamed up to put their bodies on the line to raise money for Mesothelioma and youth development in our region.
Jarryd Townson of Split Spaces and Pierre Viljoen of CQUniversity are taking the lead on exercise, commitment and fundraising as they both vow to run their weight in kilometers, when joining the Ultra Marathon event Trail to Triumph this October.
Jarryd Townson is no stranger to Trail To Triumph, having supported his mate Mat Britton since the very first event, to run from Moranbah to Mackay via Eungella to raise awareness and funds for Mesothelioma and to honour Mat’s father Tony Britton.
“This will be the hardest journey I have ever undertaken and it is one with multiple outcomes,” said Jarryd.
“My journey will hopefully send a positive message that anyone can achieve what they put their mind to and promote a more active lifestyle for those who don’t get physical exercise through their work tasks. Trail to Triumph is an awesome opportunity to fundraise for a worthy charity, while supporting the youth in our community and getting my own physical health back on track,” he said.
Pierre Viljoen is also no stranger to hard work and the corporate lifestyle, as the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement and Campuses) at CQUniversity and Associate Vice-Chancellor for the Mackay-Whitsunday Region, Pierre spends a lot of time in meetings and working to develop the University and the region.
“I’m well overdue to get back to my old self and shed a few kilos, and what better way to do it than teaming with another passionate person with a similar goal,” he said.
Pierre is passionate about the evolution of exercise and sports in Mackay and has been the driving force behind the newly announced multimillion dollar Mackay Regional Sports Precinct (MRSP) currently under development.
“I've been thinking for a while that I need to get back on track as I have challenged the council CEO to a 100m sprint when we open the MRSP. So, when Jarryd asked me to support his journey of running his weight in kilometers, I thought the best way to help was to join him.”
Pierre also said that he was excited to fundraise for Mesothelioma through the Bernie Banton Foundation and would attribute half of his fundraising efforts to the needs of students that experience financial hardship through the University’s existing 'CQUni Cares' Charity Program.
“We are excited to have a number of support mechanisms onboard to assist our journey as we lose weight and our bodies change to achieve the mammoth goal of running over 100km in five months,” he said.
Jarryd added that they were excited to announce a wide range of support and sponsorship through the CQUni Chiropractic Clinic, On the Run (Run Coach Martin Lambert), Shaw Nutrition, Naomi’s Massage and Exercise Therapy, CQU Exercise and Sport Science and CQU Gym Facilities.
To find out how you can show your support for Jarryd, Pierre and any of the runners and become part of an important fundraiser for those with Mesothelioma and their families, visit