Byron Bay local Claire McFarlane will run16km across 230 beaches to raise awareness. Photo Contributed
Byron Bay local Claire McFarlane will run16km across 230 beaches to raise awareness. Photo Contributed

Why this woman is visiting beaches in 230 countries

RUNNER, adventurer, speaker, changemaker, and survivor Claire McFarlane continues to inspire people around the world with each footstep she takes.

Ms McFarlane's goal is to run more than 16km of beach in 230 countries to give women, men and children the courage to break their silence on rape.

Claire McFarlane on her run in the Solomon Islands. Photo: Contributed
Claire McFarlane on her run in the Solomon Islands. Photo: Contributed

 

Byron Bay local Claire McFarlane will run on beaches across 230 countries as part of a global awareness campaigns. Photo Contributed
Byron Bay local Claire McFarlane will run on beaches across 230 countries as part of a global awareness campaigns. Photo Contributed

The Northern Star spoke to Claire in 2016 a month after she left her footprints on 16km of sand between Broken Head to Cosy Corner with the specific purpose of raising awareness and funds for rape survivors.

The Byron Bay woman has been abroad for more than three years in a campaign that has seen her travel to remote countries like Tanzania, Nicaragua, and Papua New Guinea, totalling 52 countries of the 230 goal.

Brunei was the last country she visited.

She wrote on her Instagram page: "Brunei has surprised me and I'm in admiration of its inspiring young people".

"From the outside it was hard to anticipate how my time in Brunei would unfold.

"To be honest, I had the feeling to just keep a low profile, run, maybe engage with a few people and leave … hence my short visit.

"Wow was I wrong!

"We talked deeply, openly and free of taboo … such an inspiring exchange and hopeful that footsteps to inspire can provide a meaningful way for these young people to take some action when it comes to sexual violence."

Her trip to Moldova saw the chief commissioner of police and other participants run with her around the shores of Lcul Valea Morilor in Chisinau.

In Kosovo she was joined by a group of Prizren locals in wheelchairs who have muscular dystrophy.

Along a dirt road in Mobasa in Kenya she spoke to ten girls from 11 primary schools in the area of Kwale and learnt about their vulnerability to assault and harrasessment, rape and sexual violence and the staggering figure of 660 girls dropping out of school due to pregnancy.

Ms McFarlane has now also started an annual global run as well with details on her Instagram as well as forming an NGO called Movements to Inspire.

Byron Bay local Claire McFarlane will run on beaches across 230 countries as part of a global awareness campaigns. Photo Contributed
Byron Bay local Claire McFarlane will run on beaches across 230 countries as part of a global awareness campaigns. Photo Contributed

She attended the Sporting Chance Forum at the UN in Geneva to learn, network and share from her own experiences.

"The forum this week is definitely centred on a top heavy discussion but there has been a lot of interesting questions.

"I'll be posting a blog early next week with some thoughts from the forum and ideas moving forward from a sexual violence perspective," she wrote on her timeline.



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