‘It’s going to hurt’: Hawke’s Bay detective’s dash for mental-health cash

'It's going to hurt': Hawke's Bay detective's dash for mental-health cash

Hawke’s Bay police Detective Dom Brown is running 11.6 kilometers a day for the Reid O’Leary Charitable Trust. Photo / Paul Taylor

Police detective Dom Brown is pushing to turn a tragic statistic into a milestone.

Affectionately dubbed the “Flying Ginger”, the coppertop cop is running 11.6 kilometers every day in November to raise money for the local youth suicide education initiative, the Reid O’Leary Charitable Trust.

talking to Hawke’s Bay Today it’s clear he’s fond of his new running name, but reckon it’s a tad flattering. “Obviously the ginger bit is accurate, but I’m not sure about the ‘flying’ part, that’s a bit generous.”

Candid video updates on Instagram (including one from the bathtub) and the blazing-red mustache illuminating his path on morning runs have sparked a wide following and support base.

Ginga-groupies hoping to join him have been told it’s an “easy pace”, but have been warned “the most punishing thing” will be his “terrible banter.”

Detective Dom Brown is making a daily dash for cash.  Photo / Supplied
Detective Dom Brown is making a daily dash for cash. Photo / Supplied

The daily jogging distance was drawn from the chilling figure of 11.6 people out of 100,000 of the country’s population who lost their battles with mental illnesses in 2021.

“I’m a big advocate of mental health after a few struggles of my own, as many people have, so I wanted to do something.”

He said the trust, which formed after the suicide of 21-year-old Hastings mechanic Reid O’Leary in 2020, was a good fit with what he was doing.

“Essentially I think it suited me because it’s a great local initiative and isn’t just one of the big organisations.”

With 11 years in policing, Brown now works in the police Child Protection Team.

“Front line police are going to mental health situations all the time and, sadly, the deaths. It’s a really big issue in Hawke’s Bay and it simply doesn’t discriminate.

“I’ve learned that mental illness is a super power. If you can make it through the worst of times, if you can wade through the judgement, the darkness, the exhaustion, then you can do whatever you want.”

Early on, he was frank about his fitness. “It’s going to hurt; so does mental illness. The runs are getting easier though, I just need to keep on top of rest time and diet”.

And it’s working.

“Powered by the mo” he’d clocked up 176 kilometers and $1327 by Monday this week.

He’s stoked by the support, including Tumu which is donating $2 for each kilometer he runs.

“It’s a privilege to do this and be surrounded by such good humans. I’m pumped for more.”

* The public can join Brown during his run at Flaxmere Park, starting on Henderson Rd opposite Flaxmere College, on Monday November 21 6am-8am. For more information check out his Instagram account the_flying_ginger_hb

* Tickets are still available for the Rock the Bay concert this Saturday at Black Barn, which includes Devilskin, The Feelers and Capital Theatre. All funds raised go to the Reid O’Leary Charitable Trust’s local youth suicide initiatives. Tickets at rockthebay.flicket.co.nz.

* Need to talk?

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)?Youthline: 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email [email protected] or online chat.?Need to Talk? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)?Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)?Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)?Depression Helpline: 0800 111 757?Samaritans: 0800 726 666.?The Lowdown: Text 5626 or webchatFor help with specific issues:?Alcohol and Drug Helpline: Call 0800 787 797?Anxiety Helpline: Call 0800 269 4389 (0800 ANXIETY)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *