AUSTRALIA has the Big Pineapple, the Big Prawn, the Big Wine Bottle, and now Captain Australia’s Big Lap.

The Captain’s secret identity has been exposed as Simon Harvey, a nice guy from Brisbane, and a cancer survivor. After being told years ago he had six months to live, he defied the odds to defeat the disease, but was not done challenging himself.

In 2021/2022, he completed Captain Australia’s Big Walk from Brisbane to Melbourne in 84 days for The Kids’ Cancer Project, a charity that has teamed up with him once again for his latest and greatest quest.

This super-powered sequel to the Big Walk, the Big Lap, aims to improve on the original in every way – at least in terms of distance covered.

Captain Australia with Tristan Bloor, Emma Bloor and Chandi Basnayake in Rosedale. Photo: Katrina Brandon

“I can do this all day,” the fictional Captain America famously said in the Marvel movies, but he never specified how many days. The real-life Captain Australia doesn’t have just a day to contend with – this is his life for the foreseeable future.

The Big Lap began on July 16, and is expected to take 18 months, or as many as two years (730 days), for Mr Harvey to walk 15,000 kilometres around the country. Everywhere he goes the community has backed him, and his wife and kids will be joining him at various points.

Speaking to the Gippsland Times on Tuesday in Sale, Mr Harvey had been walking for 76 days. That’s a lot of steps, but with the kind charitable donations funding crucial research into softening and improving childhood cancer treatments, it’s certainly worth it.

Captain Australia unmasked – Simon Harvey wants to inspire those who he meets offline and online.

That morning he had walked 15 kilometres in two hours to reach Sale after spending the night in Stratford. He was beaming from his visit to St Patrick’s Primary School on Monday.

“I love the school visits and I love the chance to sort of put a little bit of wonderment in a kid’s life, because they look at you like a superhero,” he said.

“And if I can insinuate just a little message that whatever darkness you will face in your future life, you can come back. You can find your strength and you can get through it.”

Captain Australia has friends new and old in Gippsland, including other cancer survivors. He sat down with them for lunch at The Viet Kitchen in Sale.

“Throughout the afternoon, I’ve had other people who have just been eager to meet … and we’re going to sit down and just chat, talk about whatever it is they want to talk about,” Mr Harvey said.

Mr Harvey says that fundraising numbers are down on the Big Lap compared to the Big Walk, possibly due to the cost of living crisis. About $34,000 has been raised for the Kids’ Cancer Project so far thanks to all the other heroes who have supported him along the way, but the Aussie Captain is eyeing $1 million.

“At this point in the original Big Walk we’d raised about $130,000. So charities across the board are down due to the cost of living crisis,” he said.

“So people do not have the liberty or the luxury of disposable income so charities are the first and worst hit.

“It’s a grim outlook for most charities, but the beauty of what I’m doing is it costs them nothing, so the (charity) doesn’t have to commit resources to marketing or administration, because I’m just doing it by myself.”

When asked what Captain Australia means today, Mr Harvey said he wants to inspire people.

Captain Australia’s Big Lap is a highly anticipated follow-up to the Big Walk. Photo: Stefan Bradley

“There are some people who still think this is something to do with fighting crime. Captain Australia (represents) this idea that we can all superhero up.

“We can all do something magnificent with our lives. And I’m not saying I’m doing something magnificent.

“It’s about saying, it’s in you to try and be a superhero. If you see something wrong in the world, try. And I guess that’s what Captain Australia is about.

“It’s not about preaching to other people. It’s about doing it by example.”

Captain Australia left Sale on Wednesday morning to walk 30 kilometres to Rosedale. On Thursday morning he was marching off again for Traralgon.

To donate to the Kids’ Cancer Project, head to capsbiglap.au

Follow Captain Australia’s Big Lap on Facebook: at facebook.com/CapsBIGLAP

Captain Australia’s superhero suit on his Big Lap. Photo: Facebook.