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My Vitality London 10,000 Adventure: Ben Shelley

Why run? Well, that’s an interesting question and one that takes me back around 15 years to when I was 12 years old. I’d just attempted to run my first cross-country run and, without wanting to go into too much detail, I came rather close to finishing last. Enough was enough. I needed to get into shape.


I put the sweets and chocolate to one side and made sure that I ran every day. This proved to be rather hard on Sundays as my Nan’s Sunday roast was irresistible – but you have to treat yourself sometimes! I persevered and the Big Day came. Rather than finishing in the bottom ten, I finished in the top ten, which was a dramatic turnaround. Okay, it may not have been a big talking point but for me it was a major achievement. The years have gone by and I’ve run a little less each year but whenever I’ve felt the need to exercise, I always fall back to running to keep in shape, it’s a comfort blanket of sorts. It’s something that I never thought I’d use to make a difference though.


Last year my friend Chris and I ran the Silverstone Half Marathon for The Royal Star & Garter Homes. We both ran personal best times and, despite the cold weather, finished in good spirits, knowing that we’d helped raise more than £500 for this amazing Charity, which turned one hundred earlier this year. A hundred years of caring for those who made a difference, fought for this country and in many cases, died for this country. It is a major achievement and the reason why I’m lacing up my trainers and taking on another challenge this year.


On 30 May, I will be running the Vitality London event. I’m aiming to raise £100 for the Charity and to raise awareness for this great cause. To add to the challenge, I’m going to attempt to get from my house in Raynes Park to the finish line at Buckingham Palace in less than 100 minutes, pausing only for formalities.




The training hasn’t been the smoothest of rides this time. I decided to plan a couple of holidays in March, which resulted in starting my training in April, leaving less than eight weeks to get in shape. A couple of demoralising runs followed, during which time I failed to get further than 3km. Undeterred I kept going, building strength and flexibility in the downtime between runs, which has led on to a triumphant return to form.


Over last bank holiday weekend I cracked 5km without a problem and have been improving my stamina since then. I’ve been working on building additional speed to ensure that my 100-minute goal is completed with time to spare.


Please sponsor me and help to celebrate the achievements of a Charity that has been here for more than one hundred years. Help them be here for the next hundred years.