"Walk a long way you did."
This was the hand-painted banner greeting Jacob French at Sydney Children's Hospital Wednesday when he finished his walk across Australia -- outfitted as a "Star Wars" Storm Trooper. He walked 3,100 miles, lost 26 pounds and went through seven pairs of shoes, mnn.com reports. In doing so, he raised more than $100,000 for the Starlight Children's Foundation.
French announced his charitable walk last summer, beginning the trek in July 2011. And being a member of the 501st Legion of Storm Troopers -- a worldwide group for Star Wars enthusiasts who dress up for charity -- he did it in character: Storm Trooper TK-6283, to be exact.
"In October 2010 I participated in the RunMelb Half marathon (21kms) in my stormtrooper suit," French wrote on his website. "The suit was restrictive and got quite hot while I was running, but the seed was planted for the troopertrek idea. Since the marathon I have started to train regularly for this event and have acquired a much lighter and flexible set of armour that will be trimmed for better movement. I am hoping that by choosing to wear stormtrooper armour I will be able to gather more attention for the cause I am running for and have a bit of a laugh along the way."
The attention certainly benefitted the Starlight Children's Foundation, an organization that works to improve the quality of life for children suffering from chronic diseases, but according to metro.co.uk, there are a few things that remained unchanged about French.
"I hate walking," he said, "I do anything to get out of it usually, but I was the one with the idea."