Ben O'Carroll says "he’s over the moon" after putting his body through hell for 13 hours.
The North Cantabrian, who scans pregnant sheep for a living, took off running from the Cheviot Trust Hotel about 4am on Tuesday.
His goal was to run 111 kilometres 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 the Papanui pub shortly after 5pm.
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“[I’m] ecstatic, a little bit buggered, but really I feel amazing,” he told Stuff after reaching the pub.
O'Carroll said he only really "got into" running in April this year and, before Tuesday, the furthest he had run was 50km.
"I’m limping a wee bit, my feet are a bit broken, but honestly I feel pretty great. It’s more the mental joy you get out of it that overpowers any physical pain."
The first half of the run was "reasonably fine", but the pain began to set in as he hit the 75km mark.
"It got pretty tough and it really brought out this part of me I didn’t know existed … there was this real raw side of me that I think you can only really discover when you get down to the wire."
With the help of many farmers, old rugby mates and complete strangers who cheered him on from the side of the road – and some who even ran with him for stretches – O'Carroll was able to persevere through the pain.
"In that second half there was more pain than not and I sort of had to harvest that pain and use it to get me through it. I wanted to give up at times, but I had good friends there."
He admitted he broke down a few times, but used his "mental strength to get things going" again.
"I’m really proud of myself for doing that because it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life."
The run had made him realise he was not only doing it to raise awareness, but it had also helped him with his own struggles and opened up conversations with friends he had previously lost contact with.
"They’ve been saying that they’re really thankful that I opened up, and it’s made them feel like they can sort of open as well, which in my eyes is a success within the whole [mental health] issue."
As of Tuesday evening, O'Carroll had raised just under $20,000, far exceeding his initial target of $5000.
Despite all the pain he’d been through in the past 13 hours, his plan was to kick back 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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