‘The hardest thing I’ve ever done’: Man’s mammoth run for men’s mental health

“He’s over the moon,” says Ben O’Carroll, after putting his body in Hell for 13 hours.

North Cantabrian, which surveys pregnant sheep for a living, set off from the Cheviot Trust Hotel around 4 a.m. Tuesday.

His goal was to run the 111 kilometers south to the Carlton pub in Papanui, Christchurch – all in the name of raising money for men’s mental health and suicide prevention.

While O’Carroll said it was the hardest thing he had ever done in his life, he managed to achieve his goal, arriving at Papanui’s bar shortly after 5pm.

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Ben O'Carroll runs a whopping 111 kilometers from the Cheviot Trust in North Canterbury to the Carlton pub in Christchurch to raise money for men's mental health.

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Ben O’Carroll runs a whopping 111 kilometers from the Cheviot Trust in North Canterbury to the Carlton pub in Christchurch to raise money for men’s mental health.

“[I’m] ecstatic, a little surprised, but really amazed” things After arriving at the pub.

O’Carroll said he actually “entered” running in April of this year, and before Tuesday, his furthest run was 50km.

“I am a little lame, my feet are a little broken, but honestly I feel good. It is the mental pleasure you get from him that overcomes any physical pain.”

O'Carroll prepares to take off from Cheviot along with the support crew at 4 AM.

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O’Carroll prepares to take off from Cheviot along with the support crew at 4 AM.

Running helped keep O’Carroll in a strong mental state, so I thought it would be appropriate to use it as a way to raise some money and awareness of the mental health of the men at Kiwi.

The first half of the race was “reasonably good”, but the pain started to show when he hit 75km.

“It got really hard and it really showed that part of me that I didn’t know existed…There was this real raw side of me that I think you can only really find out when you get down to the wire.”

O'Carroll and his support crew upon their arrival in Amberley.

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O’Carroll and his support crew upon their arrival in Amberley.

With the help of the many farmers, old rugby guys, strangers who cheered him on by the side of the road — and some who ran with him for stretches — O’Carroll was able to persevere through the pain.

“In that second half, there was more pain than that, and I kind of had to harvest that pain and use it to get through. I wanted to give in sometimes, but I had good friends there.”

He admitted that he collapsed a few times, but used his “mental strength to revive things” again.

O'Carroll says the first half of the race was "reasonably fine" But when he got to 75 kilometres, the pain really started to show.

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O’Carroll says the first half of the race was “reasonably good” but when he hit 75km the pain was already starting to set in.

“I’m really proud of myself for doing that because it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

Running made him realize that he was not only doing it to raise awareness but also helped him with his own suffering and open up conversations with friends he had previously lost contact with.

“They were saying they were really grateful that I opened up, and it made them feel like they could open up too, which in my eyes is a success [mental health] Problem.”

O'Carroll is exhausted but ecstatic after completing the Mammoth Charity dash.

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O’Carroll is exhausted but energized after completing the Mammoth Charity dash.

As of Tuesday evening, O’Carroll had raised just under $20,000, well above his initial goal of $5,000.

Despite all the pain he’s been in for the past 13 hours, his plan was to relax with some friends, enjoy a beer, and plan his next charity run.

Donations can be made on O’Carroll’s Movember page.

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