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Marathon superstar joins Southern Cross expert online panel

Erchana Murray-Bartlett running


Tamara Hamilton
4 April 2024

Guinness World Record holder, marathon runner Erchana Murray-Bartlett will join an online panel of Southern Cross University health experts to help runners prepare their minds and bodies for the upcoming Gold Coast Marathon.

When you conquer an outrageous challenge, to run from Cape York to Melbourne, completing 150 marathons in 150 consecutive days, you’re left with a very big problem.

Okay, two big problems. One is a smelly car boot full of used running shoes, the other, a seemingly impossible task – how to top it!

After completing the 6,300-kilometre Tip to Toe challenge in January 2024, setting a new world record, raising funds and awareness for the Wilderness Society, Gold Coast nutritionist, run and strength coach, Erchana Murray-Bartlett is now taking on an event that can only be described as madness – The Speed Project.

It’s a rather secretive, invitation-only, no rules, no spectators, 500-kilometre dash from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, through California’s Death Valley. 

Erchana has no idea if her body will cope with the lack of recovery time, but she’s determined to give it a crack. 

“I’m a ‘roll with the punches’ type of person. Things will go wrong. During Tip to Toe everything went wrong! It’s about learning to navigate that,” she said.

“As long as you don’t break the law, you find your own way to Vegas. There are obviously ways that aren’t RV-accessible. So, do you go those ways, unsupported? Or, do you follow the safe way?”

As the only Aussie among 20 solo runners, you’d put money on Erchana ditching the comfort zone.

“What I set out to show people is that you don’t have to limit yourself and put a ceiling on what you’re capable of,” she said.

“If you’re a non-runner and you want to cross the country, you can get there. It’s just about setting your mind to it and putting the training behind you.”

“What I set out to show people is that you don’t have to limit yourself and put a ceiling on what you’re capable of.”

Marathon runner Erchana Murray-Bartlett runs along a road

Erchana shares her words of wisdom on goal-setting, mind and body preparation as an ambassador for the Gold Coast Marathon. She plans to complete the 63.3 km Gold Coast Double this year, running the Half Marathon on Saturday 6 July, followed by the Marathon on Sunday.

She loves the atmosphere and comradery that builds around the event. She believes that sense of community is what lures so many people to running clubs and why event numbers have swelled to record levels - both the Gold Coast Marathon and Half Marathon races are sold-out, with eager runners now on a waitlist. 

“I mean, it is harder to get into a marathon than it is to see Taylor Swift!” she joked.

On April 18, Erchana will join forces with Southern Cross University health experts during the Pillars of Performance free online panel, offering tips for peak performance and recovery and, no doubt, sharing stories from her latest marathon adventures as excitement builds toward the Gold Coast event.

First, though, she has to find her way out of Death Valley.

Register now for the free online panel, Pillars of Performance: Combining nutrition, physio and psychology for peak results, April 18, 2024 12pm – 1pm. 

The Gold Coast Marathon panel discussion, and Q&A, will be hosted by Southern Cross University Chair of Human Sciences, Associate Professor Chris Stevens, who will be joined by Erchana Murray-Bartlett, Southern Cross University Professor of Physiotherapy, Dr Maria Constantinou and Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr Scott Goddard. 


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