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first came across Ben following a conversation with Mandy (my wife) who’s job brought her into regular contact with him, and she told me of some fundraising she had been doing for him. Having checked out his website, and realising what was needed for this life changing surgery, I thought it would be nice to raise a bit of money for him, but even better if I could raise a lot of money. After much debate I thought that putting on a race would be a good solution, and seemed quite simple as we put races on all the time!

After agreement from the Committee I went to meet Ben and his mum Charlotte, to let her know we wanted to help. It was evident from talking to Charlotte what a tremendous amount of support there was for Ben in the comminity, but having met him it was no surprise. Any of you who came in contact with him before the race or came back to the presentation and raffle afterwards will know what a character he is. One problem for us was time was very short as the money had to be raised before the end of the year, and we also wanted to include other features to the race, such as food and raffle that might generate some more income, so weather might be important. We set a date during a busy race period where we did not clash with the many other road races and cross country, then had to change it due to the Bradford half marathon.

A new date was set, licence obtained, Lido facilities agreed, all going well then PECO announce a XC race on the same day. Too late to change now, so onwards and upwards, all marshals, entries, results and catering teams in place. So we are all set, surely nothing can go wrong now! Oh


Ben’s Wish to Walk 5 mile race I

yes, we had a few drops of rain, then a few more, then monsoon, so three days to go and the start is 10 inches underwater and the road to the finish is also closed due to flooding.

But on the day, we had fantastic weather, given the previous days and the following day’s rain and gales. There were 176 entries and 158 who completed this scenic but testing course, including more than 50 Harriers and 70 unattached locals, many of them not regular runners. The Harriers gave some great performances, Dave Wilby getting under 30 mins, Saturday morning training partners Richard Reeve, Eddie Irving and Julian Carter battling it out for top ten places, split by a surprise result from Rob Cunningham who finished 6th in 31.00. Rob had run 18.20 the day before in a 5k race at Manchester, came across the Pennines for Ben’s race, then straight back to Manchester to work. Then there was 1st lady Sally Morley 9th overall, but many other great Harriers performances. On top of this there was a team of more

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