HEATHER Lee is not your average 91-year-old. A champion competitive race walker, Ms Lee has set herself the challenge of walking 250 kilometres for the month of March as part of Cancer Council’s fitness fundraising challenge, The March Charge.
Last year the Richmond resident exceeded her 200 kilometre goal in 25 days, walking an average of 8 kilometres a day. This year, she is encouraging younger and older residents to challenge themselves, get fit, and help raise money for a good cause.
“I’ve always loved leading an active life and if I can do it at 91 years of age, then anyone can!” she said.
Ms Lee has both Australian and World Records to her name, and was one of three Hawkesbury torch bearers for the Penrith leg of the medal relay for the 2018 Commonwealth Games which will be held on the Gold Coast in April.
She began to challenge herself in 2001 in the City2Surf, and began race walking seriously in 2011, at the age of 84. That year, she took home four gold medals from the Masters Games in Adelaide, and in 2012 she proceeded to break both Australian and World Records.
Ms Lee lost her husband Leonard Lee to lung cancer in the late 1990s, and will honour him as she continues to walk towards her goal for The March Charge.
“His last dying words to me were, ‘now is the time to show your mettle’,” she said. “I always go back to that moment. He really is my inspiration, his belief in me has encouraged me to keep doing what I’m doing. Whether it’s representing Australia at the Masters Games or raising money to beat cancer, I do it all in memory of my husband.”
Funds raised for The March Charge will go towards Cancer Council’s research, prevention programs, support service and advocacy campaigns.
“If there is anything that I can do that will support people affected by cancer, then I’m always up for the challenge,” said Ms Lee.