1600km run from Pilbara to Perth: ‘The truckies helped me through’

When Brooke Mcintosh set off on a gruelling, 28-day, 1600-kilometre charity run through WA, she knew it wouldn’t be an easy feat. Now that her challenge is complete, she wants to thank all the wonderful truckies she met along the way for their support and encouragement.

Setting off from Karratha in the Pilbara on August 20 and arriving at Perth on September 16, she travelled on foot along the North West Coastal Highway.

Her goal was to raise awareness and funds for mental health within the FIFO industry and among the younger generation.

And she’s done just that, raising close to $72,000 for mental health charities 20talk and Blue Tree Project – and counting!

In a video she prepared before setting off from the Pilbara, Mcintosh said, “This is what the red dirt and the Pilbara actually looks like.

“We are running 1600ks to raise awareness for mental health for the guys who work right here, because it’s isolating, it’s tough and it’s not really spoken about. We need to normalise these conversations.”

Mcintosh said that while she loved working in the state’s north, she noticed that mental health wasn’t taken too seriously. “In 2021, we lost 322 young Australians to suicide. And on our sites, we lost over 200 people to suicide.”

Having battled with her own mental health, for many years Mcintosh found that running was her only escape. While she has sought professional help, she continues to use running as a tool to help keep her mental health in check.

She says her epic 1600-kilometre run was “isolating as f*** at times,” adding “no day was the same and everyday I was faced with a new challenge.”

But getting to meet so many truckies was a big highlight. “It was the truckies out here that helped me through the darkest of days,” she said. “The truckies have honestly played a massive part in keeping me safe and sane while out there.

“Some truckies would appear in the moments where I needed a little more encouragement to keep going, sing out on the two-way, give a wave of acknowledgement or simply move to the side slightly. The banter that was had – especially when some truckies didn’t realise I carried a two-way – was hilarious and made the memories I won’t ever forget.

“Thank you Australian truckies for holding down the fort, delivering to the remote communities and doing the long isolating trips so regularly to keep WA alive!

“While the run is done, I am not and there is a lot more coming from me in the mental health space.”

To donate to her cause, please click here.

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