WHEN 69-year-old Vlastik Skvaril’s fit feet finally hit Byron Bay’s bitumen yesterday, it was a bittersweet end to what was one crazy adventure.
The Burnie marathon runner had just run 5768km across inland Australia in 100 days.
While it was high time for a breather, the grandfather of six was not quite ready for the journey to end.
“I have got mixed feelings,” he said.
“I can’t get too excited (about finishing) because I enjoyed every bit.
“I’ll be happy to get home but on the other hand I would be happy to go back to the desert.”
Mr Skvaril left Australia’s most westerly point, Shark Bay, more than three months ago to raise money for CanTeen.
While donations did not flow quite as thick and fast as he hoped – about $18,000 – the run still proved an out-of-world experience.
He averaged 57km a day and met hundreds of residents from dozens of towns.
From those towns, Mr Skvaril found the reaction was always the same – “they seemed to be surprised when they learned I was 69”.
Mr Skvaril said while fitness played a part in staying in such good shape, it was really the positive mentality that kept him healthy.
“That’s probably what keeps you young.
“Instead of worrying (I am) happy with what I have got – I’m just happy with life.”
A tunnel of 600 students wearing CanTeen bandannas cheered Mr Skvaril through the last stretch at Byron Bay Primary School yesterday and $1600 was raised through a sausage sizzle.
He had hoped to gain $50,000 for the charity, but with just over a week left before he hits Tasmania, Mr Skvaril fears they may fall short