No12. Travis Ovalsen
No12. Travis Ovalsen
ISSUE: No12
Travis Ovalsen
Team Leader 445 Run Club

We shine a light on some of Aotearoa's best and brightest.
They shine a light on their favourite 3 Wise Men Clothing.

Acerbic Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde once said that only dull people are brilliant at breakfast. Clearly he never met Travis Ovalsen who, by the time the first meal of the day rolls around, has already packed in a novel full of good stories.

An electrician by day, Travis’s real passion is sparking things up as team leader of the Auckland chapter of the 445 Run Club. Like the name suggests it’s a run club that meets at 4.45. AM. Not PM. Every Friday. Rain, hail or shine. No excuses.

Those short sentences are not an accident. We’re breathless even thinking about waking up at that hour, let alone to go and run. But for Travis, it’s so much more than an early jog around the block.

“Whether I’m dressing up or keeping it casual, I like unexpected twists and interesting details. That’s 3 Wise Men gear to a tee. Oh yeah, their tees are pretty good too!”

A budding footballer, he found himself struggling when his best mate passed away a couple of years ago. “I was lost, mentally and physically,” he says, “so I took up running and found the 445 Run Club.” Dreamed up over lockdown by fellow runner Lucy Scarborough, Travis now helps lead up to 300 people every Friday, who turn up to move, socialise, share and connect with others.

“It’s incredible to see people on different journeys gain so much with the club. I want to inspire all people, but men in particular to talk about mental health by promoting movement,” he says. So, ummm, why so early, mate? “To get uncomfortable,” Travis laughs. “It’s good to get out of your comfort zone. We run 20 minutes out, then 20 minutes back. Whatever distance that is for you. The only thing is that every week you come back 1% better than the last.”

Feeling good and looking good are important to Travis. He’s naturally optimistic and upbeat, and likes his clothes to reflect that. “Whether I’m dressing up or keeping it casual, I like unexpected twists and interesting details. That’s 3 Wise Men gear to a tee. Oh yeah, their tees are pretty good too!”

So where to from here? “The club has spread across NZ to Australia, the UK and most recently, New York. We’ve got some bigger long-term wellness goals, as well as other events and coaching – and I’ve got some personal running goals too,” he says.

Like completing multiple half and full marathons, including, recently, the London Marathon - as a New Balance running ambassador - which he knocked off in a shade over three hours. “It was such a cool vibe with massive crowds cheering you on!”

Looks like it might be a fair while before you get a sleep in mate. Although something tells us, like most things you do, you’ll take that in your stride too. Cheers Travis.



Shop Travis Ovalsen's Top Picks: