One of our longest ambassadors, Ben Hirst (Run for Mental Health), set himself another mammoth physical challenge for June 2023 to raise dollars and awareness for mental health. This time, taking on the ‘Double Everest’!
Ben’s “Double Everest” challenge is to run twice the height of Mount Everest (a total of 17,698 meters) in just 7 days starting on July 12, and finishing on our 10th birthday on July 19!
Ben commenced each summit run of Kunanyi/Mount Wellington from the Fern Tree Tavern and aimed to cover a distance of 66km per day! All of this of course happening at the coldest time of the year!
Previous challenges undertaken by Ben include the first in 2016, where he ran 320 km from Burnie to Hobart— a journey he completed in just three days! In 2018 he completed his second challenge running on a treadmill for 48 hours (totalling 272 km.) In 2019, his most recent challenge ‘Laps for Lads’ spanned over seven days. This challenge saw Ben complete 2348 laps of the Guilford Young College oval; a lap for each man that lost their life to suicide in Australia in 2017.
On July 19, Ben finished his incredible challenge, not only achieving his fundraising goal and spreading awareness within our community, but he also accomplished his physical goal of running a total of 60 hours up and down kunanyi, and climbing OVER twice the height of Mt Everest at a whopping 20,000m, all with the biggest smile on his face, and making time to have conversations with his many supporters and fans about mental health.
Ben supports us at Stay ChatTY in almost everything we do and is an avid ambassador, but above all else he is an amazing friend. We are so grateful to Ben, his family and his support crew for all the energy and effort they put into these massive challenges.
Ben’s Reflections – One Day Prior to commencing his Double Everest Challenge
“Today, I made one last climb of kunanyi, a mountain that holds a special place in my heart. As I faced the snow, ice, and strong winds, I couldn’t help but reflect on the journey that awaits me.
In a few short days, I will climbing this very mountain over 21 times. It’s an overwhelming thought, but it pales in comparison to the battles faced by countless individuals struggling with their mental health.
As I look down upon the beautiful city of Hobart, and with each ascent, my mind drifts towards those who find it difficult to face each new day.
The simple tasks we take for granted, the effort to leave our beds, step out the door, and interact with others, can seem as daunting as scaling a mountain. And unlike me, who can rest after a week, there are people out there who endure this uphill battle every single day, all year long.
It is for them that I will lace up my running shoes next week, aiming to shed light on an illness that remains largely invisible and misunderstood. The stigma surrounding mental health and suicide still persists.
This is my way of igniting conversations, breaking down barriers, and fostering understanding.”
Ben, thanks for all of the amazing change you have helped make here in Tassie! Our team, and the community are all so in awe of your strength, and passion for inspiring others to have conversations about mental health.