Taking on gruelling Coast to Coast key to man's journey to overcoming depression

In April 2017, Matt Calman was suffering from depression.

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Matt Calman learned plenty about himself and helping others while taking on the gruelling race.

He describes it as a scary, confronting place but after seeking help, he turned his life around.

In 2018, he went down to New Brighton to watch a couple of friends finish the Coast to Coast, and that's where his love affair started.

"I was just inspired, so inspired," Calman said.

"On the way home, I biked home, I’d already decided I was going to sign up and do the race."

The Coast to Coast is a 243km endurance race from one side of the South Island to the other.

Colman’s first race was in 2019 but, unfortunately, he didn’t finish.

This year though, not only did Colman complete it; he got the endurance award that goes to the final finisher of the longest day event.

"I was so lucky to have the opportunity to help a fellow competitor called James Holth who was struggling over the last 30kms to the finish line.

"We rode the last 20 together - it was a moment we will both treasure forever.”

Colman has now ticked a lot off his bucket list but there’s still one more thing he wants to achieve.

"My dream since I was a small boy was to write a book and to be an author."

That dream will come true today when his book, aptly named “The Longest Day” hits the shelves.

It follows his journey through depression and competing in the race, and has one main message.

“Instead of being afraid of having a go at something and failing there is no failure just bloody go in and get in there and do what you want to do with your life because you only have one.”