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Chat with Mat Grills: aka The Tattoo Runner


Mat Grills is a Bundaberg based ultra-marathon runner with a penchant for tattoos! He has a fascination with the body's movement and has experimented with all sorts of footwear (most notably, none at all)! Health and wellness are a key focus for Mat, and in line with these principles, he fuels himself with a nutrient-rich, plant-based diet. 

Mat, you're a pretty motivated guy. What gets you up in the morning?

I love the idea of making the most of every day. Starting it off with a run, a routine, meditation, bible reading, some discipline is a really positive thing to have in my life. This, along with my beautiful family and spending time with them is what I live for!

You run a lot of km's each week. What is the strangest thing that has happened to you whilst you've been running?

I have hallucinated during my first 100miler. I vividly remember seeing a single shoe in the distance and thinking 'Why on earth would someone be running with one shoe on?'. Then I saw it was a pinecone! I was also so tired in Coast 2 Kosci (240k) due to a really bad lead up sleep wise that I was constantly falling asleep whilst running for about 7-8hours!

Nutrition is obviously key for you with your huge exercise load. What is your 'go-to' food item at the moment?

Smoothies....always smoothies! Such a good recovery food after training and a top way to smash in some good fruit!

So you've run 240km non-stop in the Coast to Kosci race. Most people wouldn't drive that far without a break! Why do you do it?

I love to challenge myself and seeing how far my body and mind can go. Whilst that event was VERY long and difficult, I still feel like I can go further, faster and better! The journey continues!

Why all the tattoos?

I actually used to hate tattoos when I was a kid! I got my first when I was an exchange student in Finland and it just flowed on from there! And so was born The Tattoo Runner! I used to be super philosophical about what they all meant, but now I come up with a cool idea, let the idea sit for a bit, and then go for it. After the Blackall 100, on my birthday, my dad and I are going to get a tattoo together to celebrate his 60th!

What is your one tip you would give our readers to help them be at their best day-to-day?

Focus on getting good plant based, whole foods in your body! Just aim TODAY to eat more plants, don't focus on anything else. You can do all the exercise you want but unless your diet is right your mind, body and spirit will not perform to the capacity it is able to! Vegan Power!

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