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HILLS aren’t a runners best friend as Melksham News’ reporter Ben Fenlon found out when he took on this year’s Great North Run, finishing just shy of his 90-minute target.
Running The Great North Run for the first time, Ben completed the 13.1 mile distance in 1:39.17 just 9 minutes off his target. Along the way he battled constant sunshine and hilly dual-carriageways all in aid of The Alzheimer’s Society, raising £1,270.
Ben’s mum, June, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2012 and he has helped support his dad with her care since he moved back to Melksham last year. As well as taking part in the world’s most iconic half marathon, he also raised vital funds for a charity close to his heart.
Ben was alongside over 58,000 runners who took to the streets of Newcastle including famous faces Sir Mo Farah and Olly Murs. Ben finished 1677th overall and 307th in his gender age category.
Ben said, “It was the hardest run I have ever done – no-one warned me about the hills! Finishing the race in 90 minutes was always going to be a big ask – I tried my best and I am really proud to have come in under 100 minutes and to have beaten Olly Murs (who was my secret rival in the race, although he wasn’t aware of that!)
“Around five miles into the race I was on target – but the hills and the blazing sun made the course extremely difficult. The atmosphere on the day was incredible, the crowds were so encouraging and supportive, which really made a difference when all you want to do is lie down and take a nap.
“I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported me, £1,270 is a fantastic amount of money to raise for the Alzheimer’s Society – hopefully this will help towards making a difference to other families affected in the future by this disease.”
Ben’s JustGiving page will remain open for a few more days. If you would like to donate visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/benfenlon.