Are you up for run30formovember?

By Ben Anderson, run30formovember

In 2019, I made a change within myself to push my mental capacity to another level while raising awareness for men’s health. So run30formovember was born!

For the month of November, I ran the number of kilometres per day corresponding to that day of the month. Day 1 is one kilometre, day 2 is two kilometres, all the way up to day 30 when I completed 30 kilometres.

In total, it was 465 kilometres in 30 days. That’s just over 22 half-marathons or just over 11 marathons. The real challenge is when you get to around day 20 when you’re running back-to-back half marathons every day (and more) until day 30!

On the final day, members of the local Cairns community joined me for the run, giving me some much-needed moral support.

I was able to raise $3000 for the men's health charity Movember.

I did it again in 2020 and raised $4,220. I’m looking forward to doing it this year too. And I invite you to do the same.

Not only is it a physical challenge but also a mental one. For someone who suffers from self-doubt and who has had his own mental health issues, this is a real challenge for me but it’s something I do to help raise awareness for men’s health.

For whatever reason, when Movember comes along, I shine. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I am forcing myself out of my comfort zone and doing something different – something that makes a change in my life but in someone else’s as well.

run30formovember is just not about me, it’s about the lives of all the men out there, young and old. As a father of two teenage sons, I want them to be able to be open about their feelings, express their emotions and not be afraid of being the better man. That includes getting mental health support if they need it. Reaching out for support is an act of strength and not weakness.

In 2019, I ran by myself. In 2020, I was welcomed by an amazing group of friends, with one completing the full distance while the others completed it to the best of their ability.

So, are you up for it? Take the challenge and come run with me, in person if you live in Cairns or in spirit if you don’t. Be physically but also mentally prepared for a tough but emotional challenge.

By no means is this just a ‘run in the park’. What might seem easy in the first couple of weeks will be a massive challenge coming into day 20 when you have to start backing up your runs every day. Focus on your pace, keep it steady and consistent and by doing this you will have a cracker of a run! And if you can find mates to do it with you, all the better.

You can visit Ben’s run30formovember Facebook page, and donate via the Movember website.

Ben Anderson served in the Australian Army Band Corps for 9 years, and left the Army 20 years ago. His father served in the Australian Army and the New Zealand Navy for 35 years.

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling provides 24-hour free and confidential counselling. The Open Arms website also provides a range of self-help resources and wellbeing tools. Visit the Open Arms Website or phone 1800 011 046.
Ex-service organisations and related not-for-profits are welcome to submit stories for publication by emailing vetaffairs [at]
Man running towards camera with 20 or so people in group behind him

On the last day of Ben's 2019 Run30, Cairns locals came out to give him moral support. 

Man in cap with hands on face taking deep breath of relief
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