As Carlo Tonini takes his first step before two million New Yorkers, he hears the whispered words, “this is the closest you will get to feeling like a rock star”.

Carlo may be a mortgage broker at Homeloans Ltd by day, but between dawn and dusk he is busy preparing his life as a marathon runner. He first jumped on the running bandwagon when he saw the joy the sport was bringing his brother-in-law, Andrew Colosimo. He thought the 2010 Gold Coast Marathon would be a great way to test his fitness. “I’ve always wondered would I be able to run that far … so I thought ‘let’s give it a try and see if I can do it’,” says Carlo.

With a lot of training, he achieved great success as he completed the run in four hours and 13 minutes. He says the biggest challenge in the marathon struck him at the 30 kilometre point. “If you talk to people who have run marathons you hear the term ‘hitting the wall’,” says Carlo. “You’ll be running along and then BANG, it just hits you.” He says this is the moment when contestants need to decide if they stop or plough through. After realising his own determination, Carlo created an even bigger goal. He created a bucket list of marathons to run, including The Marathon Grand Slam.

His list also featured the New York Marathon, Virgin London Marathon, China Wall Marathon, Rio Marathon, The Antarctic and finally a marathon in Africa called The Big Five, which will see him running through a game park with five lurking lions and other animals. “There are only 61 people apparently who have done that … so far,” laughs Carlo.

After racing the New York Marathon in 2011 to raise more than $3500 for the Sloan Ketting Cancer Research Centre, Carlo’s next mission is to run the Virgin London Marathon on April 21, 2013 and raise $10,000 for Cure Cancer Australia. Carlo says he has been drawn towards raising money for cancer charities as his wife is an oncologist. “I have a bit of a background understanding how bad it actually is … I guess that was just my first port of call,” says Carlo. Also a regular volunteer for St Vincent De Paul, he first committed to the group when they visited his local church seeking help. “It’s been a real eye opener. I’ve lived here in West End for about five years now and the work they do is incredible,” he says.

Carlo has always been an active soul and has already ticked a range of challenges off his bucket list, including the Kokoda track, Murray River Kayaking Marathon, Oxfam 100 kilometre walk and a bungee jump. “Just don’t ask me to jump out of a plane, I don’t think I could do that,” he laughs. After being captivated by crowds at the New York Marathon, Carlo has high hopes for London.

To help Carlo raise funds for Cure Cancer Australia please visit

Words by Kayla Millhouse | Images by Darlia Argyris