Good Runner Series Australia – Benny Wallis

2 July 2020

We could all use a good reason to run right now… Saucony’s Good Runner Series is about bringing “Run For Good” to life through exceptional people who run. After running with the brand for over 5 years we visited Benny Wallis (@BennyTheRunner) in his beautiful hometown of Warrnambool, Victoria and asked him what #RunForGood means to him.



How & When were you introduced to running?


Running started for me back in Year 7, when my Principal who was a running coach, saw me run the 100m (which I came last in) he told me to do the 1500m instead. I laughed saying I had just come last... He said, just run slower than everyone else at the start and you’ll do well. Fair enough, that worked, they dropped off and I finished 3rd. From there he invited me to run with his group that night and I ran 12km! The bug had bitten me. I carried on through High School and a couple of years out of school.


When was the moment you realized running had become an integral part of your life?


I had been training with a group for a year and made it to the School Cross Country National trials. I can’t remember if it was Year 8 or 9, but I managed to represent Victoria and from there I knew running was my chosen sport. The group I was training with were great friends, I loved where it took us all, travelling, laughs, highs, lows and all the rest.



Why do you run?


This is always a tricky question to answer. The easy part to answer is because I love it. Connecting with people that share running as a common interest. The places you get to see on a run whether it’s training or a race. Running also helps get my day going before work, helps me destress, relax and with that you get fit and feel amazing most days.


I had a big gap of 18 years or so without running and I really let myself go. Drank too much, ate bad food and didn’t sleep properly, I worked 6 days a week and just got sick of feeling like I did every day. Having the extra weight was hard and I just wanted to get back to what I loved doing as a kid, and that was running.



How has running effected those around you and your local community?


I have made some amazing friends locally. Been introduced to the local running club and parkrun which I have seen grow stronger every year over the last three years I have lived in Warrnambool. I have been included into a small running group which is 99% Girl power! We share our feelings, thoughts, personal life issues and the joy of running together. Most of the group are Mum’s and as a Parent myself, it’s good to be able to run with these ladies and have a laugh and share the experience of running (and a coffee at the end of a run is pretty good too).


Through running, I have also been able to meet some remarkable locals. People who have had severe personal injuries to people wanting to change their lives and people who are just starting to




Has running helped you mentally/physical/spiritually?


I would have to agree that running has definitely helped me mentally. My wife was not in a good way when we lived in Melbourne and our choice to pack up everything we had and move to Warrnambool to be closer to her Mum was a really hard thing for me to deal with. At first it was exciting as it was Summer, and we had a place near the beach and everything was new and different. Sadly, that wore off rather quickly and I missed my job I had for 11 years, missed the people I had recently started to run with back home, and felt pretty isolated.


I used running as my focus to change how I felt, and deal with the feelings I had. It’s helped me lose weight, and now I’m toned up a little I enjoy how I look for a 44-year-old Dad!


What does “RunForGood” mean to you?


“Run For Good” to me, means running with purpose, running for health, running for friendships and running for adventures. I love sharing my running with friends, I love seeing my friends run and helping other runners when I can. I like to pace people if they ask, help kids out with advice I can give them, and just generally being around the running community.


So in one word, Run For Good means… Happiness.



If you have a story you would love to share with our team, please reach out to @SauconyAu on socials or your local Saucony rep!