Jacqui Bell about to make history

Colin Clarke

Jacqui Bell about to make history

Jacqui Bell conquered her personal demons by taking up ultramarathons — now she's about to make history

Posted on 23.09.2019

Imagine running almost 2,000 kilometres — mostly through gruelling desert terrain — all while your toenails keep falling off: 10 of them, to be precise.

For most, it sound like a form of torture. Not so for ultramarathon runner Jacqui Bell, especially when you consider what she’s already been through.

“It’s a week of running and being disconnected,” Bell told the ABC.

“There’s nothing on your mind.”

Key Points

  • Jacqui Bell is set to become the youngest person to complete seven ultramarathons across seven continents
  • The 24-year-old has overcome an addiction to painkillers as well as mental health issues
  • A serious incident left Bell in a Bali hospital for 10 days and requiring 200 stitches

A "bad run"

Three years ago, Bell had a “bad run” and broke a number of bones in a series of sports-related incidents.

During her recovery, she became addicted to prescription painkillers, while her mental health also began to suffer.

“My family didn’t really know the extent of pain from the injuries,” Bell said.  “I was still functioning when I was taking them — they just gave me a bit of a high.

“It was when I ran out or stopped taking them I would realise that things weren’t so good and I was at an all-time low … it wasn’t a good time.”

In a bid to get herself cleaned up, Bell moved to Bali with the intent of becoming a yoga teacher, but things didn’t go to plan.

She fell victim to a violent robbery when two men pulled her off her scooter and stole her hand bag.

What followed was 10 days in hospital, more than 200 stitches and in excess of $30,000 in medical fees.

Rather than be immersed in self-pity, Bell treated the incident as her “wake-up call”.

“I knew that is was going to be easy to fall back into old patterns, and I did for a small moment there, and I really hit rock bottom,” Bell said.

“I thought it was up to me. I’m the one missing out on having a good life and everything really sucked.

“I don’t mind pushing myself and being absolutely buggered and having to have to keep going.

“They say when you first get the idea that you’re too tired and you can’t keep going, you apparently still have 40 per cent left in the tank — I always try and remember that.”

Shaun Giles

ABC News




Have a story to tell or news to share?

Let us know by Submitting a News Story

Discover Queensland

Explore all of Queensland’s adventures.

Start Exploring

What's On



Scenic Rim Ultra

Scenic Rim Ultra

Read more



Kooralbyn Valley MTB 6hr Endurance

Kooralbyn Valley MTB Endurance 6hr Enduro 10 km loop
Read more



Bushwalking Leader Training Course

Is it time to get recognised qualifications for your outdoor recreation skills?
Read more

Latest News

Billions in cancelled holidays

Travel agents decimated

Read more
Questions raised about honesty-reliant system

Queensland's coronavirus border breaches raise questions

Read more
JobKeeper criteria relaxed

Government will ease JobKeeper criteria, adding $15 billion to the coronavirus recovery scheme

Read more

Become a member

We welcome applications for new Community and Green Circle Members from organisations and individuals involved in the outdoors

Learn More
Tail Lights by Georgina Pratten