Running for East Timor – in Paris

LONG ROAD AHEAD: Terry Phillis, of Lennox Head, will be taking part in the Paris marathon next year to raise money for ChildFund Australia, inspired by his grandson, Riley Clayton.
LONG ROAD AHEAD: Terry Phillis, of Lennox Head, will be taking part in the Paris marathon next year to raise money for ChildFund Australia, inspired by his grandson, Riley Clayton. Doug Eaton

TERRY Phillis isn't a runner, but he will be striding out 42km in Paris next year to help kids in East Timor.

And it was his own grandson who inspired the 55-year-old Lennox Head man to take up the big challenge.

Terry sponsored a Kenyan child through ChildFund Australia when Riley Clayton was born three years ago.

Earlier this year, ChildFund Australia sent an email calling for 10 Aussies to take part in the Paris marathon as a fundraiser to help the organisation's work in East Timor.

"They say one in 10 children in East Timor doesn't reach the age of five. My grandson is turning three and I consider myself to be very lucky," Terry said.

"This (the marathon) is my opportunity to give something."

Terry said he hasn't done any serious running since he left school, and he hasn't played sport.

But he started a training program a month or so ago to build himself up for what he says will be a "big challenge".

He completes short distance runs during the week and a long run on the weekend.

He has so far built up to complete 16km and aims to complete a half-marathon in November.

"There's not much of me, and I don't drink or smoke," he said, when asked how his stamina was holding up.

"My legs are sore, but that's OK."

Terry will pay for his own travel to Paris - and take a holiday after the big run.

But he is asking for sponsorship to reach the fundraising target of $8000.

The money will go to providing 48 community volunteers in East Timor with essential healthcare training, to help the locals in 12 different communities.

To sponsor Terry, go to the website

Terry Phillis

This (the marathon) is my opportunity to give something.

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