On the Northern Beaches of Sydney there is a group of gentlemen who come together to run together. Known in the running community as the Vipers Run Club, and founded by Matty Abel & OllyWoolrych, it’s a community of men that choose to acknowledge that the way in which you feel about yourself directly correlates to the way in which you treat yourself. The concept was born out of a realisation that men are not connecting with each other in a healthy environment and this was something that needed to change.
The Run Club has been so successful that they’ve since decided to create a ‘Brother’ club and Triathlon NSW extends a warm welcome the Manly Vipers Triathlon Club (MVTC) – our newest affiliated club.
Both the Run Club and the Triathlon Club are aligned in their ethos and they both carry the same values: mateship, community, growth, belonging and wellbeing.
The triathlon club plans to bring men based in the region together and will focus on getting both physically but also mentally fit. Their ethos is simple. Whether it's for your mental health or physical fitness – swimming, cycling and running are all excellent ways to stay healthy and people who exercise regularly are less likely to experience symptoms of depression!
And this club has certainly put their money where their mouth is! Last November, the run club raised over $100,000 for Movember - raising much needed money for a charity that is aiming to change the face of men’s health on a global scale with mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer all the main beneficiaries. Their concept called [MO]VE for 60 brought together their running club members to tackle 60 hours straight of running in teams. 60 was not a random number, but representative of the 60 men we (as a world) loose to suicide every hour around the globe.
One of the many reasons that resulted in Co-Founder Matty Abel being recognised for his work and being awarded the New South Wales Community Service Award.
Despite being only in its infancy, the club plans to be more than a regular triathlon club. No doubt, triathlon is part of what the club is about, but it’s not the only thing. It will offer members the ability to attend regular talks (both on mental health and other topics critical to men), social events, retreats and team bonding days.
To keep a high level of engagement whilst creating a strong triathlon community, and to align with their model of the Run Club, the Triathlon Club will have a limit on the number of members that can join. This is not to create exclusivity but to ensure those members they do have are fully engaged with the ethos and the goal of the club.
In their first season, the club hopes to simply create a community of men in Manly that can bring together interested triathletes to train together and race together. And as for the event highest on their schedule for season 2022/2023? Well, like most triathletes, the Big Husky Triathlon Festival is where they hope to have as many members as possible racing across the 3 days.
The club will also join the Forager Sydney Triathlon League 1 and be known as the Manly Vipers Triathlon Club. Whilst Interclub and Club Champs success is not high on their priority list for their inaugural year, their competitive juices flow deep and it won’t take long for the club to crave some victory on the big stages now available to them as Triathlon NSW’s newest affiliated club!