Smith’s Long Walk to Gold

An 81-year-old man who walked 700km for charity has taken out the gold in the 5km walk.

Leigh Smith, from Hahndorf in South Australia, won his age division in a time of 40:50:09.

The keen walker has had plenty of practice – last year he walked from the Docklands in Melbourne to his home in Hahndorf, completing the incredible 700km journey in 13 days.

“When I had the idea of walking from Melbourne to Hahndorf it was for me to show my appreciation to all the people that had given me support and happiness during the past 80 years and, at the same time to raise money for the Cancer Council and Heart Foundation,” he said.

Smith covered 40-65km every day on what he called his ‘Thank You Walk’.  He sometimes walked with his daughter and son, but mostly made the trek on his own. He raised an amazing $25,000.

He said the highlight was a man on a tractor approaching him and giving him a handful of coins worth about $30.

The octogenarian timed his arrival into Hahndorf Football Club, where he’s a life member, on Anzac Day in between the seniors’ football games.

He said the arrival was an unbelievable experience.

“Family, friends and football club supporters were there to welcome be back to Hahndorf, “ he said.

“It was a very emotional moment and will always be with me.”

Following his long walk, Leigh says he never wants to see a Sustagen drink again, or eat any more lolly snakes.