21-year-old Jacob French hates walking, and yet he completed a 5,000 km trek last year dressed in a stormtrooper costume. The 9-month trek was for the benefit of Starlight Children’s Foundation which works for sick children in Australian hospitals. Jacob’s journey was all the way from Perth to Sydney, and in the process he went through 7 pairs of shoes and lost 12kg in body weight. He also managed to raise $100,000.
Jacob was the one who came up with the idea in the first place. He had donned the stormtrooper costume for the first time during a half marathon in Oct 2010. The experience wasn’t very comfortable for him. “The suit was restrictive and got hot while I was running, but the seed was planted for the Troopertrek idea.” Since that marathon, Jacob started training more regularly and also acquired a lighter and much more flexible set of armor. Last summer, he made the announcement about his charitable walk, once again dressed like a stormtrooper in order to get attention to the cause. The arduous trek began in July 2011. Jacob walked over 10 hours a day, Monday to Friday, along with a wooden cart around with him containing all his clothes and carrying equipment. The stormtrooper attracted a lot of attention and even received support from passing motorists. The Trooptrek Facebook page has become very popular, with thousands of likes and comments. People find his initiative inspiring and motivational.