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Connecting the running community for a common cause this Movember

Running is a powerful vehicle to create a positive impact. Through a shared passion for running, comes the ability to unlock the power of community and cultivate social benefit. This Movember, the running community will come together to build connection, celebrate community and make positive change for men’s health, mental health and suicide prevention.

Introducing: [mo]re than a run - co-founded by Alex Bell & Olly Woolrych, supported by lululemon.

On the 27th November 2021, the Australian and New Zealand running community will unite in support of Movember, to authentically connect and come together to make a meaningful impact on men’s health, mental health and suicide prevention.

Bringing together run clubs and runners from across the country, participants can take part in 3 different movement fundraising challenges:

The Movember 60km - for the 60 men we lose to suicide each hour across the globe.

The Movember 30km - for the 30 people that die by suicide every single month in New Zealand.

The Movember 10km - for the 10% of adults (aged 25-64) across New Zealand living with social anxiety.

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We asked some of the run club and fundraising event leaders how this event was born, and their ‘why’ behind running - this is what they shared:

NSW: Matty Abel - Vipers Run Club

Why do you run?
Running for me is a sense of freedom! I can do it whenever, wherever and for as long or as short as I like. It's a time for me to be in a state of flow, my favourite music tunes playing whilst taking in as many sensory experiences as possible, all without the day to day distractions life brings. I also love the feeling of fitness running gives me, being able to run a hill, pass that person in front of me or even hit a faster interval pace without collapsing to the ground. Running used to be very goal oriented for me around completing various races but right now for me it's about how running makes me feel on a day to day basis and how it brings joy to other parts of my life.

What does community mean to you?
Community is something both Olly (my co-founder at Vipers Run Club) and myself have been working very hard on over the past 2-3 years. Community to me is going a little deeper into people's lives, knowing each other's names is first and foremost but showing interest in knowing more about that person builds stronger bonds and as a result a stronger community. With a strong community, I also know working collectively we can achieve something much bigger than what we can achieve alone.

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VIC: Jodie Bakoulas

Why do you run?
I run because it allows me to start each day with joy. Such a simple act of putting one foot in front of the other has a huge impact not only on my day, but on my life. I run to show my 3 sons that with hard work, determination and self belief, anything is possible. Running allows me to switch off and really be in the moment, it’s in those moments that I feel like the best version of myself, it’s in those moments I feel most alive.

What does community mean to you?
Community to me means having a sense of belonging, it’s about something bigger than myself. It’s about a group of people who share a similar passion coming together. Sharing a similar passion allows a connection to be formed and I am a true believer that when community and connection collide, anything is possible. I believe that when people feel part of a community they should feel that they are in a safe space, this then allows them to feel heard, seen and valued. This strengthens connections and makes the community so much stronger.

SA: Jack Shephard - 21 run club

Why do you run?
Running provides me an opportunity to be my best self. To learn, explore, create and grow. Running is honest, authentic and raw. I feel as though I'm my most creative when I run, without being overwhelmed with thoughts, Be okay just being with your thoughts and putting one foot in front of the other. I learnt very quickly that running is what you make it and to lose total expectations of others when running, you can run fast, run slow and create an opportunity that is for you to explore and experience that 'runners high'. The beautiful thing is that you can run alone or run with others and they both have their elements of beauty. run, do it for yourself.

What does community mean to you?
Community to me is a place, group or destination you surround yourself with to allow you to be the best version of yourself. A group of people that lift you up, encourage you, influence you and inspire you to achieve anything you set out to do. A space to be heard and express yourself for you and have full confidence in doing so. A community for me is a place where everyone is equal and there are no expectations on each other purely support, embrace and gratitude for what you have around you. When you find your community it almost can not be put into words it only can be felt and you will know that it's exactly where you need to be.

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WA: Kat Ackroyd - Perth Run Collective

Why do you run?
For space. Space where my focus can shift to find calmness in a busy day and a place for reflection and discovery. Running improves my confidence, it provides clarity and creates a sense of possibility that carries over to other parts of my life. Naturally, I want to do more of it and I want to share it.

What does community mean to you?
‘Rolling up in the rain’ – even when we don’t feel like it we show-up. We show-up for ourselves, for each other and for our ecosystems rather than egosystems.

NZ / AUK: Ben Edusei

Why do you run?
I run for freedom, to connect to nature, feel more resilient and powerful and to either connect or disconnect. I run to give myself perspective in life when I need it most, for therapy and to help me find the answers I struggle to find. I run to be closer to my community and to help others. It’s my passion and it makes me a better man.

What does community mean to you?
Connection, support, inspiration, belonging, purpose, opportunity to learning and grow, acceptance and sharing.

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Join thousands of runners in raising funds for Movember by choosing to Mo Your Own Way and challenge yourself in the 60km, 30km or 10km distance and sign up for the [mo]re than a run team.

You can run solo or with the below run clubs around Australia or New Zealand and help change the face of men’s health.

New Zealand:

230 Run Collective
Ugly Boys Run Club

Hot Choccy Run Club 
Run Talk Run Auckland 
Public Runners - Mount Maunganui 
Koha Run Club 
Beer Jerk Run Club 
Grave Runners 
Runnning for Change

South Australia: 

The Run Club Adelaide
21 Run Club
Run of the Mil
GEDfit

Queensland: 

Run the North 
Unfit Run Club

Sparrows Run Co 
Club KT 
Peak Run Club 
Neighbourhood Training

Tasmania:

Knock Offs Run Club

Sometimes it is [mo]re than a run.

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