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Two men, one challenge - all for mental health 

Emily Ansell
Sammy Metherell
Man Cave challenge
Lewy Clarke, Toby Skilton, Bevan Bolger and Stephen Blyth at the top of Rapaki at the end of a run.   Supplied

A couple of Christchurch men took on a huge fitness challenge to raise funds for Man Cave.

Starting at 8am on March 26, Bevan Bolger and Toby Skilton completed the challenge set by David Goggins, an American ultramarathon runner.

This challenge consists of running four miles (6.5km) every four hours for 48 hours. Their goal was to raise awareness and funds for men's mental health, with all funds going to Man Cave. 

Man Cave provides an open circle where men can share, connect and be vulnerable. It takes place once a month and is open to all men. The next in-person session circle is on April 14, 6.30pm at Black & White Coffee Cartel on Lichfield Street. Click here to book a spot.

Man Cave founder Conrad Goodhew said the group was set up to fill the gap between men identifying their mental health struggles and seeking professional help.

"It is a group of  guys making better men [and] having conversations to get each other moving forward," her said. 

Man Cave relies on volunteers and donations to continue operating as a free all inclusive space.

"It is bloody awesome and incredible of the boys to not only raise funds and awareness but willingly put themselves in a hard position," Goodhew said.

Skilton said he had been involved with Man Cave for the last eight months. He wanted the platform to grow and help more men to open up and be vulnerable.

Despite no having dealt with serious mental health issues himself, Skilton said being part of Man Cave meant he had "connected with men on that level". 

For him, the challenge was about placing himself under physical and mental pressure.

Man Cave member Lewy Clarke said the group had "created a safe space for men to talk about things going on in their lives and that it is actually okay to not be okay". 

Annual Provisional suicide statistics show that in the past 13 years, the number of mens suicides has risen from 405 deaths in 2007/08, compared to 471 in 2019/20. In the same period the number of suicides in Canterbury increased from 61 to 90.