Fran Hurndall is on a mission to raise $500 000 by dribbling a football from the Gold Coast to Sydney.
The 31-year-old's planned July 20 to August 20 route will take her through towns and cities like Pottsville, Lismore, Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie across 32 days, running 32km per day (which coincides with the 32 teams in the tournament). She'll end off in Sydney in time to watch the FIFA World Cup live at the stadium.
The idea came to Hurndall, who has never run more than 20 kilometres in one day before, when she caught herself in a mental slump.
"Nothing like this has ever been done before," the ex-Arsenal Academy player said in a promo video.
"I went to an event a couple of weeks ago and saw Nedd Brockmann (who ran from Perth to Bondi) and it just left me feeling so inspired. He showed me that anyone can go out there and make an impact. I have sort of been in this limbo for the last eight years because, although I'm no longer playing at the moment, I know when you get to a certain level as an athlete, it's like 'What's next?'
"Then I was watching the 'Human Playground' on Netflix and it follows this woman running across the desert for an ultra marathon who had one leg and it all started to click. The speech by Nedd, that show on Netflix, and so I called my partner and I just said 'Hey, I've got a crazy idea. What do you think?' and she paused on the other end of the phone and I was like 'Hello?' before she was like, 'It's awesome ... we can make a real go of it'.
Hurndall plans on donating the targeted $500 000 to Women Sport Australia, which will be used to help the next generation of girls achieve their sporting goals and dreams.
"I want to ensure that women and girls dare to dream and live out their full potential within the sporting arena. But no matter what the level is, I think it's so important for us to put money back into female sport to bring the next generation through," Hurndall said.