Last week we had the pleasure of receiving a email from Mat Grills, we had already known Mat from the Ultra Running scene and had a few social runs together, what we didn't know and i don't think many people did, was that he is about to embark on an epic test of endurance. Mat is about to travel to America and compete in a ridiculous 100 mile race called the Ouray100 take a look at the elevation it is ridiculous, also he is about to run another 3 100 milers in a small window timeframe, here is a little bit of history on Mat and his story which i got off his own website www.thetattoorunner.com.
I was born and bred in the coastal town of Bundaberg, Queensland, growing up and living with Mum, Dad and my Sister. Throughout school, I enjoyed all sports and gave everything a crack, especially running.
Upon finishing high school, I was an exchange student in Finland and then completed a year touring Australia in a Youth for Christ band, performing outreach concerts to high school kids and churches. I then returned to Bundaberg for a year and married my love, Tegan. After this, we moved to Brisbane and lived, worked and made music for 5-6 years. I had dabbled a little in long distance running in the past, however it wasn’t until around 2007 that I really took an interest in ‘the long run’. This was mainly inspired by my Dad, Stewy who had been running marathons and half marathons for close to 10years at that time. I completed my first marathon in Toowoomba at the end of 2007.
At the end of 2007, I was successful in joining the Queensland Police Service, attended the Oxley Academy and was sworn in as a Police officer on the 25th of June, 2008. I was then posted back to Bundaberg, my old stomping ground. Upon returning to work and live in Bundaberg, I was heavily involved in the local community, promoting the Police Service, fitness and generally spreading my love for life through the town.
I had well and truly caught the running bug by this stage and enjoyed the discipline of training and racing. There was to be a slight hiccup along the way though, when in 2009, I found out I had a tumor on my pituitary gland (base of brain) and had to have major brain surgery. This hurdle was tackled one step at a time with my loving family. To get myself back on track, I aimed to and completed a half marathon at the Gold Coast only a couple of months after surgery. Another miracle after the tumour was that Tegan and I had our first child, Pria at the end of that year.
During the time living in Bundaberg, I loved training with Dad and wanted to organize something big to try and make a difference. Dad had had Prostate Cancer a couple of years prior, so I decided to organize a fundraising run from Bundaberg to Brisbane and back again, thus the creation of Run Man Run. In September 2009, Dad and I ran the distance with our support crew in tow in 21days, covering just over 500km each in that time.
After this event, my intrigue grew in relation to ultra marathons (any distance further than a standard 42.2km marathon), and particularly ultra trail running. Around this time, I also read Dean Karnazes book, Ultramarathon Man and I was IN! I then began training for and competing in these long long events. I regularly train between 100 – 200km per week. To date, I have competed in five half marathons, nine full marathons, and over 30 ultra marathons. These ultra events have ranged from 53km to 240k. Some of these have included Coast 2 Kosci, The North Face 100k at the Blue Mountains, Glasshouse 100mile run (161km), Buffalo Stamped Grand Slam and over 100k on a track (numerous times) at Relay for Life. I have also completed the Gold Coast Marathon completely barefoot. I have been interviewed for newspapers, been featured in YouTube clips and am a regular guest on the Coach Jeff Podcast.
Upon taking up trail running, someone, somewhere called me ‘The Tattoo Runner’. This name caught on (for some reason or another?!) and has stuck ever since.
Another of my passions is a thirst for knowledge in relation to diet and improving my running and health through this channel. I have a growing concern for the welfare of animals and their upbringing. I currently fuel my adventures on a completely plant based diet.
At the start of 2013, I resigned from the Police and decided to explore life and chase the dream. Tegan and I also had our second daughter, Corle. I am now expanding my knowledge of health, nutrition, wellness, looking for more ways to love life and training more than ever. We are living in a beautiful little surfers shack at Bargara Beach, enjoying the sunshine, each others company and life in general. I work part time at the Windmill Cafe and currently pursuing my entrapenure spirit! New challenges, new fun and new beginnings…again!
My addiction to long distance running has continued to flourish and the lure of seeing how far I can go continues to intrigue me. I also have a fascination with the body’s movement and experimenting with different footwear. I have massive goals for my running and desire to continue to push my bodies’ boundaries. I have many runs I dream of taking part in, both in Australia and Internationally. The continual search and striving for the limits of my endurance continues…