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Join a free dance party around a man running 42km on a treadmill this Sunday

Written by
Rose Johnstone
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Picture this: a huge dance party crashes the Arts Centre Melbourne forecourt, moving in unison to a banging soundtrack. Athletes, trampolinists, martial artists, cyclists, cheerleaders, drummers and dancers flood the stage. Amid this spectacle, one thing remains constant: a shirtless man is running on a treadmill, and he’s not stopping until he’s done 42 kilometres.

Performers dance around the treadmill at Fun Run

This is Fun Run: an epic community spectacle hitting Melbourne this Sunday March 12. Over five hours, Melbourne-based performance artist (and ridiculously fit human) Tristan Meecham will run a non-stop marathon, fuelled by riotous performances and cheering crowds. Presiding over the festivities will be comedian, writer and performer Eddie Perfect as emcee. Everyone is invited to join in, and entry is free.

Part dance party, part performance piece, Fun Run was created back in 2010 for Next Wave Festival as a celebration of endurance. It’s also a homage to the Greek messenger Pheidippides, who ran all the way to Athens to announce the Persians’ defeat in the battle of Marathon. (We bet you can guess the distance he ran: 42km.) But while poor, loyal Pheidippides supposedly dropped dead on arrival to Athens, Meecham has ran the event multiple times all over the world, drawing energy from the joyful party around him.

Performers surround Tristan Meecham on a treadmill at Fun Run

Want to get even more involved? Members of the public are invited to join the Athenian Dancing Army; a flash mob that will perform a choreographed dance on the hour, every hour. You can practice by watching this helpful (and hilarious) instructional video:

Fun Run was created by Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid, two halves of queer performance group All The Queen’s Men. Together, they create large-scale participatory arts experiences. In 2014’s Festival of Live Art, Meecham gave away his own possessions to audience members in Game Show; and last year, they produced the Miss Gay and Miss Trans beauty pageant.

Fun Run will begin at 4.30pm, Sunday March 12 in the Arts Centre Melbourne Theatres Building Forecourt.

Looking for more Labour Day long weekend highlights? Here are our top picks.

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