Please give us a rundown on who you are and what you do?
I live in Mount Maunganui with my fiance Tyla & our pooch Pippi. I run my own business working as a freelance graphic designer & content creator under the title Untitled Studio. I work across all sorts of brands & businesses including doing the packaging for the Mitchells products. When i'm not on the tools I like to surf, snowboard, run & ride bikes.
What is PUBLIC runners and how did it get started?
PUBLIC runners is an all inclusive running community based in Mount Maunganui. I wanted to create a community of like minded individuals who weren't elite runners, but were keen to show up, put in the work, meet some new friends and build a community of runners who would help support each other to reach their goals. I'm so happy I started it! I've now got a bunch of new friends and connected others through the platform. I think everyone wants to feel a part of something and I think PUBLIC does this; PUBLIC is a passion project for me. It's a free run club, no subscriptions or membership fees. You just have to turn up with a smile and leave your ego at the door. It's a no flex zone. I've been lucky enough to help pace some of our members to run 100km and marathon events and helping get them across the line is a really cool feeling.
What drew you to raise funds for Movember & what was the total raised?
I was approached by Lululemon to take part in a movement called [mo]re than a run. A couple of Aussie lads Alex & Ollie in partnership with Movember & Lululemon started this. The idea was to connect run clubs throughout Australia & New Zealand to come together through our love of running to raise funds for Movember. There was a 10, 30 or 60km distance you could complete on the 27th of November. Each distance with an alarming stat around men's health. For instance the 30km was for the 30 men we loose to suicide every month in New Zealand. We jumped on an onboarding zoom with about 150 people & there were some amazing speakers who got us all inspired. Movember is such a great cause to get behind so it was a no brainer for me to get involved. We raised over $5000 in the end & it was awesome to come together as a community to make this happen.
View Ben's Movember Page here.
You clocked 341kms for the month of November, can you break it down on how you achieve this?
Yea for me as a seasoned runner it wasn't a crazy stat to achieve. I don't see it as a crazy high number, but it was a good number for me to keep motivated for the month. I just had to lock in a few consistent weeks of running. I ran six days a week for 4 weeks. Knowing that every KM I clocked was raising funds & awareness for men's health kept me going.
What advice would you give any readers who want to follow in your footsteps?
I don’t think you should ever compare what other people are doing to what you want to do. It’s all about individual goals. A 341km month might be nothing to some runners but then a 100km month might be a massive achievement to others. Setting goals is something i've always done though, it helps keep you accountable. If you want to do something, put your mind to it & go do it. We’re privileged to be able to move so make the most of it!
What’s your favourite way to have any of our Mitchells Nutrition products?
I've been a massive advocate of the Mitchells product since Rob got it off the ground 4 years ago. I love the Protein Powder, that's a product I have every day in a smoothie or bowl of oats. I also use the collagen repair a lot to help my poor legs & the beatings I give them. The magnesium also helps with sleep. I'd love to say I'm a great cook, but that is unfortunately not the case, but my partner Tyla uses the bone broth for cooking a lot. I'm also partial to a cup of Bone Broth with a slice of ginger & some herbs.
What’s your proudest running moment so far & do you have any goals for your running?
Starting the PUBLIC community is something I'm really proud of. Connecting a community has been a really cool thing to be a part of. I'm not an elite runner, but I give it a good crack, earlier this year I ran a PB in the half marathon. I would like to improve a bit on that & also step up to the full marathon at some stage. I've got a pretty ambitious time in mind that I'd like to debut with & the thought of it is a little bit scary.
What about your hardest moment, and how you dealt with it?
The last 2 years have been full of curveballs. I've dealt with leaving a long term job, a redundancy, starting a business & the toughest moment was early this year when my partner had a miscarriage. Navigating your way through tough times is way easier said than done. I believe we all deal with mental health every single day. For me, I'm lucky to have a really supportive partner & some good buddies in my corner that I can reach out to when I need them & vice versa. Check in on your mates, you never know what someone is really dealing with. I've experienced this first hand in the last year. Running has become something that helps me a lot. Whenever it all gets a bit much I lace up & get out the door. I always come back feeling better than I did before. Being outdoors in the ocean or the mountains is also a place I find mental clarity.
Finally, what’s your fav adventure spot in New Zealand?
It’s got to be Wanaka for me. I love the beach, but the Southern lakes offer everything. So many beautiful things to look at. Just being down there is inspiring. Amazing mountains to ride your snowboard & a bunch of trails to run and ride your bike, and if you don't mind the cold there are great waves on both coasts too.
Keep up to date with Ben on IG @benparry