Meet Ben Bergan. Ben is a Brisbane local and family man who thrives on pushing the limits of his mind and body. Ben was kind enough to make some time to share his story after recently completing his first 100 mile event. Read on to learn more about how Ben got started and his journey to completing 100 miles.
My name is Ben Bergan, I'm 36 years old, married to a wonderful woman and have two small children. I played most sports growing up, but focused on soccer and cricket where I played at a competitive level. Through a persistent knee injury and other reasons I drifted away from the active life in my 20's. It wasn't till I was in my early 30's did I start regularly running for the first time. I had started playing soccer again and quickly realised how poor my fitness was. Carrying a few extra kilo's probably didn't help either. My journey into running from then on is fairly common these days.
-- How I got into running
Outside of soccer training I started running around the Brisbane river during my lunch break to help get fit. I can still remember the first time I did the 10km river loop, I was ecstatic as that was the furthest I had ever run. After a few more months of running I discovered trail running and the Brisbane Trail Runners. In 2015 I turned up to my first ever race or any kind outside of school carnivals. It was a 8.4km race at Enoggera Reservoir. I raced three more events of similar distances before signing up for a trail half marathon. In late 2016 I raced my first trail 50km and backed up 7 weeks later for my second. From then onwards I've raced 4-6 times a year and had some good results for your average joe runner, making the top 10 at some competitive trail marathons and 50km races.
-- Why I run
Once I discovered running and enjoyed the longer distances I found it was great for my mental health, I can go for a run and just switch off and relax. People will often ask what I think about on the longer training runs and are dumfounded when I say 'nothing'.. I think of nothing. Now with a small family and working full time I find even the shortest of runs can help after a busy day. I like to supplement my weekly training milage by run commuting, it's an easy way to add distance, save a few bucks public transport and clear my head on the way to work, or when heading home. Plus the benefit of heat training during summer.
-- Upcoming Events
I've recently completed a big goal of mine, finishing the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (BVRT) 100 mile race. I had raced BVRT last year and had my first ever DNF at approx 120km in. I trained hard and came back this year with redemption on my mind. I had a great day out on the trails supported by an awesome crew and pair of pacers, finishing 4th in 19:08. My next event will be the Glasshouse 100km in September, this will be my first attempt at the 100km distance. I'm really excited to see what I can do out there and have some ambitious goals in mind.