Cromwell gym owner Matt Edwards is no stranger to the black dog of depression, having felt its bite a few times in his own life.
For him, exercise was the best release when feeling down, so it made sense to set himself and friends a physical challenge to raise funds for Movember and the Cromwell Youth Trust.
Mr Edwards and friends at his Cromwell gym, The Workshop Fitness Centre Cromwell, used cardio equipment in an attempt to clock up 4440km last week, the gym owner hitting the road Tuesday through Friday to walk the 170km from Balclutha to Cromwell.
The overall distance was chosen to represent the 444 New Zealand men who committed suicide last year, Mr Edwards said.
He and his team fell a little short of their distance target, reaching 3892km between them, but were more than happy with raising $6900.
Of that total, $3580 would go to the Movember charity for men’s health initiatives, and $3320 to the Cromwell Youth Trust.
The hub provided a social hub and as a guide to help local young people find their place in the world, Mr Edwards said.
“They work with teens that might be at risk or be square pegs for round holes.”
When The News caught up with him on Thursday evening in Alexandra, Mr Edwards was soaking his blistered feet in a foot spa, having walked from Millers Flat on what he said was his toughest day.
“It took an extra half hour this morning to bandage my feet,” he said.
Friends met Mr Edwards at the entrance to Cromwell on Friday afternoon and walked with him to his gym to begin the 24-hour session.
Barber Gareth Noble set up his chair at the gym, donating one-third of the cost of each cut or trim.
Mr Edwards said he was grateful to all involved.