Ultra marathon runner Pat Farmer adheres to a simple philosophy; opportunities come along in our lives and we either take them, or learn to live with regret.
The 51-year-old adventurer and one-time politician was the first person to crisscross the globe "pole to pole" on foot, and donated the funds raised to the Red Cross.
“When I take on a challenge, it needs to have a human element and it needs to make a difference to people's lives,” he says. “ I've always felt that I needed to raise funds or help a worthwhile cause.”
Pat endured two marathons a day, every day, and the associated blisters and bruises. With the fat pads on his feet worn thin, at times he could hear the crunching of bone on bone.
But raising money for the Red Cross helped lift Pat when he felt downtrodden or beaten.
“I think it's important for all of us to look for a purpose beyond our own self worth,” he says.
This was made even more apparent after his wife died, leaving Pat to care for his two children.
“My wife passed away nearly 15 years ago now and it was a defining moment that has been a driving force behind me.
“Not only did I have to play both mum and dad, but I realised how precious this life is.”
Pat is a multiple world record holder for endurance running and has run around Australia and across North America twice.
Winner of “Achiever of the Year” (2000), he has raised millions of dollars for causes during his 20-year running career including Lifeline, Cancer Council, and Diabetes Australia.