Christchurch Instagram star keeps on running
He collapsed while running the Queenstown Marathon and it led to him becoming an Instagram star.
Christchurch running enthusiast Ian Morgan has thousands of followers on photo sharing site Instagram, sponsorships from running shoe companies and fans all over the world.
He never expected to become a minor celebrity on the global running circuit.
"It is a random thing," he said.
"I just wanted to share the running and the city I love and the views. There was never a plan."
His journey to Instagram fame started badly. He was running the Queenstown Marathon in November last year when he got a pain in his shoulder and started struggling to breath. He collapsed and was taken by ambulance to the local hospital.
The doctors discovered heart disease and performed surgery to widen his arteries.
Morgan, 46, wanted to keep running, so his doctor warned him to take his cellphone in case something happened.
"I started taking photos on my runs and my daughter said I should put them on Instagram.
"I just prop my phone against a rock or a tree branch and take a video that I cut images from."
The Instagram account took off in June when he posted a photograph of himself running topless past the Beehive in Wellington.
The beard he grew in the wake of his heart surgery became part of his online image.
"It went crazy," he said.
"It makes no sense at all to me. I really don't know what it is."
He now has more than 15,000 followers and is sponsored by shoe company HOKA One One, which sends him running shoes to test before they hit the market.
When he goes to running events, he gets recognised by people from as far away as Sweden and eastern Europe.
"People come up to me at events and say I really inspired them to do something different," he said.
"People are really supportive and friendly. I really appreciate it."
He started running about three years ago to relieve earthquake stress and lose some weight.
"I ran around the block and it was horrible, but I stuck with it."
He now runs an average of between 80 and 140 kilometres a week and exercises about two to three hours a day.
He has qualified for next year's Boston Marathon. Last month, he finally completed the Queenstown Marathon.
"I just wanted to settle it."