Running 500 laps of an Armidale-class patrol boat might seem crazy to most, but for HMAS Glenelg’s Commanding Officer it was the perfect opportunity to make a difference for the Running for Premature Babies charity. 

Lieutenant Commander Jared Webb ran 42km – the distance of a full marathon – as part of the Premmie Run in an effort to raise much-needed funds for lifesaving neonatal equipment and research for premature babies.

Lieutenant Commander Webb said he held the charity close to his heart.

His son Elliott was born seven weeks early in 2016 and benefited from lifesaving equipment donated by the charity to the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney.

“I wanted to give back to the hospital and charity that saved my son’s life, so I ran my first ever half marathon for Running for Premature Babies in 2016 in Sydney,” Lieutenant Commander Webb said.

“What I didn’t realise was how the charity would impact not just my son’s life, but mine too – I lost weight, gained fitness and caught the running bug.

“It has changed my life. Since 2016, I’ve run 50 park runs, 30 marathons and two ultra marathons and I’m now excited to make a difference to the lives of babies born in the Northern Territory.” 

The crew of Glenelg raised $1000, contributing to the $230,000 in donations received from other Premmie Run participants across Australia.

The funds will be used to purchase humidicribs – incubators that provide a warm, clean and controlled environment for premature babies to be observed without risk of infection and excess handling – to the Royal Hospital for Women and Alice Springs Hospital.

Each year, staff at the Alice Springs Neonatal Unit care for 350 premature babies born in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia – of which, 70 per cent are Indigenous.

For more information about Running for Premature Babies, visit www.runningforprematurebabies.com