Training as runners has brought Special Olympians Bradley Murphy and Shane Mahon all across the Avalon peninsula, with the duo recently completing one of their longest journeys yet.
Murphy and Mahon decided to take on running across the southern shore as part of a friendly competition organized by the Bay Bulls-Bauline Athletic Association, walking and running a combined 42 kilometres over three days — the distance between Bauline East and Bay Bulls.
"We walked from Bay Bulls to Tors Cove one day … the second day we did the exact same thing from Tors Cove to Bauline East," Murphy said. "Then the third day we walked and ran the Witless Bay Line to complete."
Bev Barbour, a personal trainer who works with both runners, said the pair were so eager to take on the challenge, they reached the minimum 25-kilometre distance to enter for a prize in the contest in just one day.
LISTEN | Hear from Bradley Murphy, Shane Mahon and Bev Barbour about completing their run across the southern shore:
"I do try to give them a little heads up so that they can prepare for the extent of the walk," she said. "They have the ability to make it a little bit more challenging in their minds, and I'm the one that got to kind of roll them back a little. They would have liked to do it on a bicycle, but they accepted the challenge of running it."
"A bicycle would have been a lot easier," Murphy added, laughing.
Knowing that everybody was behind them was pretty special. - Bev Barbour
Over the course of the run, the duo said they faced challenges most runners in Newfoundland can relate to.
Mahon summed up his struggle in two words.
"The hills," he said.
"I had rocks in my shoes, my water bottle kept falling out of my water belt. The hills were another factor," Murphy agreed, laughing.
When they crossed the finish line, the athletic association posted Murphy and Mahon's journey on their Facebook page. Both runners said seeing comments of congratulations meant a lot to them.
"Knowing that everybody was behind them was pretty special," she said.
"When Shane and Bradley finished this, it allowed them to be able to tell people 'You know what, we can do this. And we are included.' It allowed them to be recognized as athletes, and again as people who participate in the community and have a lot to offer."
With more runs on the horizon, the pair have set the ultimate goal of finishing the Cape to Cabot road race.
They've also got advice for anyone working to conquer their own feat.
"Go ahead and do it, just put your mind to it. You need lots of rest, lots of water," Murphy said.
"And believe in yourself," added Mahon.