Ironman inspired by John Kirwan

  • Breaking
  • 18/02/2012

By Michelle Pickles

One of this year's New Zealand ironman competitors says he would not have entered the race if it was not for All Black great John Kirwan.

There are many reasons why ordinary people take on the extraordinary challenge of ironman, but Hamiltonian Craig Bulloch's reason is simple.

Mr Bulloch was suffering from severe depression when he took John Kirwan's advice in a mental health advertising campaign to get some exercise.

“I’ve been to the lowest of the low, and I think the euphoria of crossing that finish line is just going to be amazing,” says Mr Bulloch.

Craig Bulloch suffers from depression - he was diagnosed in 2007 and hit rock bottom two years ago.

“Yeah, it’s a scary thing - I just shut myself away for weeks and didn’t want to see the outside world,” he says.

“I had a flatmate who committed suicide probably three years ago, who was a flatmate but a very good friend as well, and that was probably one reason why I didn’t do it [commit suicide], purely because I saw what it did to his family – but at my lowest I could see why people would do it,” he says.

And it was All Black great John Kirwan who helped turn Mr Bulloch's life around.

“I saw it and I just went ‘shit, that’s me, that’s exactly how I feel’,” he says.

“So I bought a pair of shoes, strapped them on, and went for a run. I last a hundred metres before keeling over and thought I was going to have a heart attack. But after that it was just small goals. I’d get out and train and after each training session I could feel myself getting a hell of a lot better,” says Mr Bulloch.

Since Mr Bulloch began training a year ago he has shed 23 kilos and the weight of living with depression is gone too.

He is racing to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation.

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