11 November 2014

Ever considered taking your moustache for a 100km run? Well, this awesome Mo Bro did, and in doing so, he took his Movember journey to a whole new level.

Kieran Ryan
In 2012 Mo Bro Kieran Ryan took his moustache for a massive 100km run over 12 hours to raise not only awareness, but also a whopping $26,000 for men’s health. The effort left him inspired to get his Mo moving once again and in 2013, this Mo Bro on a mission headed to Mobart to run the Point 2 Pinnacle, raising even more funds and awareness for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and men’s mental health. 

We sat down with Kieran at Mo HQ to talk Mo’s, mates and running ridiculously long distances with a hairy upper lip.

Movember: How did you first get involved with Movember?

Kieran: It all started as a bit of a laugh to be honest. I took Movember as an opportunity to grow a moustache, raise some money and for my mates and I to take the piss out of each other.

Then in 2009, at age 21, I lost a friend to suicide. I thought ‘we’re too young for this to be happening’ and from there Movember became part of my life. I wanted to make a difference so I started running to raise funds and awareness.

Then three years later in 2012, another friend took his own life. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had a lot of missed calls from friends...another mate had taken his own life. It was two days before his 2 year old daughter’s birthday.

Movember: Two years ago you ran 100km in only 12 hours. What made you decide to embark upon such an epic challenge? 

Kieran: I wanted to undertake an activity to get people’s attention, something which was challenging and also something I was passionate about  - and that something was for me to run 100km. 

People who are suffering from mental health problems are hurting - I wanted to put myself in a position that would test me.  I wanted people to see that it was hard and it was a battle which I was taking on one step at a time. I wanted people to see that if they fought hard and didn’t give up they might win their fight.

Movember: What was the longest distance you’d run in the lead-up?

Kieran: I’d never run over 30km in my life so it was probably a bit rash to think I could run 100km. I think sometimes you just need to have a go. I was going to finish. Even if I had to crawl.

Movember: What got you through it?

Kieran: I scribbled the names of my two mates on my hand and when it got tough I’d look at my hand and try to keep it simple, putting one foot in front of the other and staying in the moment. The pain I went through was nothing compared to what they went through.

Movember: You had some awesome support on the day from friends and family. Talk us through their involvement.

Kieran: The local community get firmly behind my Movember endeavors every year. Last year, a family friend whose husband was battling prostate cancer came up and hugged me, tears streaming down her face, and said thank you. So many people said thank you.

Each journey has really been a team effort. People ran marathons beside me, getting out of their own comfort zones to help me along. Everybody that took part ran their own personal marathon that day whether it was a half marathon or just walking the last 15km.

Movember brings out that camaraderie. You’re all there to help each other out.


Movember: You ended up raising over $20,000, a remarkable achievement. Do you have any tips for the Mo Community on how they can achieve their own fundraising goals?

Kieran: It was surprising to raise that much. I still get goose bumps to be honest. My advice would be to network. Use your phone, grab your mate’s phones. 

Hitting ‘Like’ on social media is all well and good, but you need to get people to donate too. Always add your Mo Space page to any message/email so people can easily donate and get involved with your journey. Then they’re along for the ride and get to experience it with you.

Movember: Last year you headed down to Mobart to run the Point 2 Pinnacle. Did the local Mobart Mo Bros treat you well?

Kieran: Yeah, they took me in with open arms. They were hard to miss on race day. So noisy. Even on the start line they were super supportive.

The Point 2 Pinnacle is an inspiring event. Mo’s painted on the road and Mobart Mo Bros and Mo Sistas waiting at the finish line to cheer home all the Mo’s. It felt like the Tour de France.

Movember: What’s in store for this year?

Kieran: I never set out to better the previous year but this year there’s four of us heading to Mobart again to take on the Point 2 Pinnacle. The other three are on board after hearing what a good time I had last year. Next year I’d love to run the Kokoda Trail in under 24 hours.

If anyone can, Kieran can.