Australian 21 year old Jacob French finished the 5,000 km marathon that he started for a humanitarian cause, and all this dressed as a Stormtrooper.
The tour de force (quite literally) lasted 9 months. It took French that much to cover the distance from Perth to Sydney, but considering the final goal, the journey was certainly worth it. The main actor of the Troopertrek, as this journey is known now all over the world, seems to have listened to The Proclaimers’ song “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” far too many times.
By taking this journey, Jacob French raised not only awareness, but also money for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. The $100,000 that were raised will be put to good use, as the foundation tends sick children from Australian hospitals. One of his final stops before reaching the “finish line” was Sydney’s Children’s Hospital, where he was welcomed as a true hero.
All this trek was not without sacrifices. French went through 7 pair of shoes, which is surely not surprising, considering the distance. As seen in the pictures, he wore athletic shoes, as the original footwear of the Stormtroopers would have made walking a real hell, not that the rest of the costume would be very comfortable. In fact, the whole Troopertrek idea came to French in October 2010, when he participated at a half marathon dressed in a Stormtropper suit. As he admitted back then, the suit did not permit him to move freely, not to mention that it got rather hot when running. Walking in the same suit might be somehow better. Speaking of walking, the most important sacrifice that Troopertrek did was walking itself. Jacob French hates walking with a passion, as he admitted in numerous occasions. The Stormtrooper suit that was used for the 5,000 km trek is an improved version, since it is more flexible and considerably lighter. Besides the enhanced suit, regular training also helped Jacob French prepare for this incredible journey.
The trek started in July 2011 and all what Troopertrek did 10 hours a day was to walk, all the while pushing the wooden cart seen in the above picture. The cart proved to be very practical, as it housed all of the necessary clothes and equipment. A backpack would have been more difficult to carry and less roomy, at the same time. Along the road, he received a lot of support from motorists, as seen in the picture.
I really hope that he did not enter any banks with the helmet on when in the need for cash, as the bank clerks would have given him money not only from his account, but also from others’.