The Power of the Sneaker

19 Jan 2024

Brooke running 1600km to Perth

Up All Night is an overnight walking marathon powered by thousands of sneakers, each step paying homage to the sleepless nights parents and carers of sick kids experience.

One pair belongs to Brooke McIntosh, who knows firsthand how lacing up can make a genuine difference in the lives of others.

For many West Aussies, FIFO is not only a common occupation, it's a common acronym that not only flies off the tongue, it flies parents and loved ones far from home for weeks at a time.

At age 12, Brookes's mum swapped her heels for the steel cap boots of FIFO life. Nothing out of the ordinary for a family from the Pilbara, a town steeped in mining history; it’s kind of expected.

However, the impact this had on Brooke was anything but expected.

"I grew up with my mum; she went FIFO when I was just 12 years old, and I struggled mentally a lot." Brooke said

With a love for running Brooke found solace in the red earth underfoot and the stillness it placed in her mind; it helped her get through the darkest of days.

Her sneakers became her power with each and every step.

"Being with the power of JUST ONE MORE you can overcome anything. It’s helped me build my resilience to keep going no matter how challenging times may get."

It was through the power of the sneaker and taking just one more step that she embarked on a mission to create an Impact to Ignite others to get comfortable with uncomfortable. To talk, to share and to seek support.

So she ran, she ran from Dampier to Perth over 27 days clocking up 1600kms, all to prove to those suffering in silence that they’re not alone.

Knowing the power that just one pair of sneakers can possess, this year Brooke will dust hers off and join forces with thousands of Up All-Nighters. Together, they will hit the pavement from dusk till dawn to support WA families with sick kids whose lives have been turned upside down.

"It's inside community events where you find a massive sense of purpose, fulfilment and happiness like no other."

Up All Night is the only marathon of its kind in the country. Participants not only forego shut-eye and raise crucial funds for RMHC WA, they also make a commitment to challenge themselves. To push their minds and bodies beyond their ordinary to a place of uncertainty laced with the feeling of giving up; a place all too familiar to the families that call RMHC WA their home away from home.

"Parents stay up all night with children combating the challenges, the toll it would take on their own health, social life, work life and family life. I can’t even imagine. I believe when you're going through a rough time if you have something bigger than yourself, you will always find a way through. And for them, it’s their kids, their family."

With two events to choose from; Perth and the all-new Busselton route, it's not too late to become an Up All-Nighter and find the power in your sneaker.

Brooke's selfie on the road