“Boof” Lehmann vows to double his MyMarathon kilometres for Heart Foundation

Former Test cricketer and Australian Cricket Team coach, Darren “Boof” Lehmann, is lacing up for
a second year in the Heart Foundation’s MyMarathon – and in 2021 has vowed to double his
kilometres in the charity’s annual fitness and fundraising challenge.

MyMarathon participants locally will have the entire month of October to walk or run the distance of a
marathon (42.2 kilometres), while also helping to raise money for life-saving heart disease

Darren is among the thousands of Aussies who have already signed up for this year’s challenge.
He has vowed to double the 120 kilometres he walked last year, and has received messages of
support for his 2021 MyMarathon campaign from other cricket legends like Shane Warne and
Aaron Finch.

Committing to MyMarathon is part of what Darren describes as his “second innings” after having a
heart attack in a Gold Coast hotel room on his 50th birthday in February 2020.

“I woke up at 4.30am with cold sweats. I couldn’t breathe. It felt like someone was standing on my
chest. I knew something wasn’t right,” Darren recalls. “I called the hotel doctor and he organised an
ambulance. I remember texting my wife, Andrea, to tell her what was going on.”

Angiograms revealed significant blockages in three of Darren’s coronary arteries. Two days later,
he had triple-bypass surgery at Brisbane’s Prince Charles Hospital.

By his own admission, Darren has not always made the best choices for his health. “Before my
heart attack, I was a smoker and I ate all the wrong foods. I was a good exerciser, but still carrying
too much weight,” he said. “What a wake-up call.”
After his operation, Darren quit smoking, switched to a healthier diet and continues to exercise

“For me, MyMarathon is about improving your heart health, raising awareness of the Heart
Foundation and heart disease, and getting everyone to understand that a heart attack can happen
to you at any stage,” Darren said.

“So, let’s get active and get outdoors – whether that’s in your backyard, a local park or city streets
– and let’s help raise vital funds to support heart disease research.”

Heart Foundation Director of Active Living, Adjunct Professor Trevor Shilton, said you don’t need to
be an elite athlete to conquer MyMarathon. “Just about anyone can get involved, no matter what your age, location, background or fitness level. You decide the pace and you decide the place,” Professor Shilton said. “You can do it in four hours, four days or four weeks; you can do it on your own or part of a team with friends or colleagues; you can walk, run or wheel; you can do it anywhere you like – it’s a very flexible way to complete a marathon.”

“Over the month of October, the distance to complete a marathon equates to about 1.4 kilometres a day, which is a very achievable target.”

“Even in areas subject to a COVID lockdown, daily exercise is allowed. So why not put your walks,
jogs and rides to good use by fundraising for the Heart Foundation?”

“In addition to ticking ‘do a marathon’ off your bucket list, your heart will thank you for taking part.
Regular physical activity helps to keep your heart strong and healthy, while also helping you to stay
physically and mentally well.”

Professor Shilton said the Heart Foundation is pleased and grateful about the number of people
who have already signed up and started fundraising for this year’s event.

“But we are hoping for many more to get involved before the MyMarathon challenge officially gets
underway on 1 October. The more people who take part, the more funds can be raised to help the
Heart Foundation end the heartache caused by heart disease,” he said.

“This includes funding world-class cardiovascular research, guiding health professionals, educating
Australians to make healthy choices, and supporting people living with heart conditions.”

You will find helpful resources, along with everything you need to know about registering,
participating and fundraising, at MyMarathon.com.au.


Coffs Harbour/Grafton region heart statistics

  • The Coffs Harbour-Grafton region ranks 5th out of 28 NSW regions for heart attack hospital admissions. Your region’s rate of heart attack hospital admissions is 18.1 out of every 10,000 people. This is about 25% above the NSW state average.
  • Out of 28 regions in NSW, the Coffs Harbour-Grafton region has the state’s 14th highest rate of death from coronary heart disease. The death rate in this region is 66.8 out of every 100,000 people, which is about 4% above the state average.
  • People in this region are hospitalised for coronary heart disease at a rate of 49 out of every 10,000 people, about 8% above the state average.
  • In terms of heart disease risk factors, the Coffs Harbour-Grafton region has the state’s 9th highest rate of obesity. Around 36% of adults living in this region are obese. This is higher than the state average of 31%.
  • This region is also in the top 10 for smoking (just over 18%) and high blood pressure (almost 24%). About 66% of adults are in this latter category.

The above statistics and more information can be found here; https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/health-professional-tools/australian-heart-maps


The above is a media release from the Heart Foundation – Wednesday 29 September 2021.

Lead photo of Darren Lehmann: provided

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