Introducing Our New Ambassador: Mike Obery
We're thrilled to introduce our newest ambassador, Mike Obery, a dynamic force in the running community and an individual who embodies the spirit of Jack Black Beer.
Mike's journey in the world of running began in 2015, and he's been lacing up his shoes for eight incredible years. Running, for him, isn't just a pastime; it's a way of life. Whether it's a quick race or a grueling ultramarathon, Mike is always keen to take on any distance and any surface. Over the years Mike has been a pioneer in bringing people together through his shared passion - not to mention stoke - and we're definitely here for it!
We asked Mike a few questions to find out what makes him tick...
Intro – tell us a bit about yourself, who you are, what makes you tick and define yourself in one sentence.
I'm Mike Obery, Mustlovehills run crew founder and Captain. Co-Founder of FullSend Running and Community Track Club and ASICS FrontRunner. I LOVE LOVE Running. Any distance any surface, I'm keen. Love a good adventure but also love MOERING a quick race now and then. Define myself in one sentance....UHM: I'm all over the show!!
How many years have you been running?
Started in 2015 so 8 years
What do you love most about it?
Running is my safe space, my happy space. It's where my people are. It's my community. It's given me so much more than I can give ever give back.
What is your most memorable running moment / event or race?
YOH, there's so many to choose from its really hard. Probably Finishing UTCT 100miler, but whilst making my way around Oppelskop and seeing my second sunrise of the race, that moment was more of "I'm over this kak". TRULY special
What’s your favourite event of the year and why?
AGAIN, so many. I have three - being on the support crew for the Two Oceans and leading the Cheerzone. I love bringing the VIBE. I wanna make the runners HeartRates spike when they come through the cheerzone. They must be celebrated. Then RACE weekend has to be UTCT. It's our creme de la creme of trail running in SA and it's in our backyard. Soon as Monday starts of race week the electricity is buzzing so hard, ESKOM can't even switch it off.
You started Must Love Hills. Tell us a bit more about it and why you started it?
Literally started with me doing hill repeats at Rhodes mem, trying to improve my running and get better. Soon people just started pitching up. More people just start pitching up and eventually a WhatsApp group was formed and BOOM...Runcrew!! The faces of the people have changed over the years, some coming and going new people joining but the vibe and the energy stays the same. It's a hard graft session. I was also looking at a way to bridge the gap between communities outside of running. So, we do quite a bit of CSI projects throughout the year.
You’re also the co-founder of Community Track Club. Tell us more about that.
So yeah, community track club started as a passion project that has snowballed into an epic monster. Erin and I wanted to introduce people of the whole running community to track running break that stigma that track training is only for a specific type of runner. ANYONE can run track; you don't need to be intimidated by it. Speed is your friend, and you are guaranteed an endorphin HIGH when it's done. Then to be supported by your fellow runners. Erin started the finisher tunnel and that's now a staple at all our sessions. The guys that have finished their sets stay and forma finisher tunnel for those still running, cheering, going crazy, willing each other on to finish strong. It's something truly special...IF I DO SAY SO MYSELF
On top of all this you’re also a running coach, how long have you been coaching and how much of your day do you spend working with runners?
So, I've been coaching for around 5 years now. I have a full-time job, so I spend my evenings working on runners' programs and having chats with my athletes. On average I spend about 2 hours in the evening and majority of Sunday and then obviously the MustLoveHills Group Sessions on Tuesday and Thursdays...ie ALOT OF BLADDY TIME.
Now to end off the interview, here’s a couple quick-fire questions:
Downhill or Uphill?
Uphill...we a special breed that loves the suffer (even though im kak on the climbs)
CPA or Lager?
Morning or Evening?
Crew or Solo?
Trail or Road?
Oooohhhh that's hard...I'm a roadie born and bred but TRAIL HAS MY HEART...TRAIL.
Mike Obery, with his boundless energy, passion for running, and commitment to his community, is the perfect embodiment of what we stand for at Jack Black. We're excited to have him on board as our ambassador and can't wait to see where this incredible journey takes us. Stay tuned for more adventures, challenges, and of course, some fantastic beer along the way!