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Marathon Hunter Row to aid pain research
Dr Hugh Dunstan, who researches the causes of chronic pain and fatigue, will put himself through aches and weariness on June 10 when he rows 36 kilometres up the Hunter River to raise money for research.
The “university boat race” has been organised by the Collaborative Pain Research Unit of the University of Newcastle and the Newcastle University Boat Club.
Up to 20 club rowers and some “non-rowers” will take part in up to four boats – one double scull, two fours and possibly an “eight,” as used in the famous Oxford and Cambridge boat race.
The mock race starts at 7am on June 10 on the Harbour and finishes four to six hours later (depending on the tide) at the Hunter Valley Grammar School’s boat sheds near Duckinfield. The row will be a marathon in comparison to the British university race, which lasts about 20 minutes.
The Collaborative Pain Research Unit has been researching chronic muscle pain and fatigue for eight years. Its latest work has found that some people are unable to ‘switch off’ the body’s response to sickness and continue to feel pain despite superficial physical improvement.
Dr Dunstan, one of a four-member team at the University of Newcastle, leading a research group of Honours and PhD students, says the unit is currently investigating the digestive problems associated with pain and fatigue in a search for new potential “pain switches.”
Dr Dunstan, who used to row when a student at Oxford, says money raised will be shared with the boat club – half going to research and half towards the purchase of a new double scull.
David Hanson, of the University Boat Club, says a person not in training for such a long row will feel absolutely exhausted – “as if they had swum from one end of Lake Macquarie to the other.”
Sponsorship forms can be obtained by calling 02 4921 5630 or from the front desk of the Forum Sports and Aquatic Centre at the University. Best vantage positions will be at Hexham Bridge between 9 and 9:30am and Fitzgerald Bridge, Raymond Terrace, between 11 and 11:30am.
Enquiries to 02 4921 5630.
Registered Charity 3104
PO Box 322,
South Australia 5092
1300 128 339
Monday - Friday,
10am - 4pm