Hi again and thanks for visiting my blog. Recently an inspirational person in the running community by the name of Ben Ashworth sadly lost his battle with cancer. His legacy, courage and dignity however has a lot to be admired.
It was approximately 2011 that Ben was diagnosed however at that point he still had a dream to run a marathon. Despite having cancer Ben was still fiercely determined to achieve this objective. Ben started running marathons approximately 3 years ago but went on to complete 24 marathons in 24 months as well as 4 ultra marathons, a cycling tour up the 3 peaks of Scarfell Pike, Ben Nevis and Mount Snowdon and a Tough Mudder assault course. This was all done whilst battling cancer and in between chemotherapy treatment. Ben also helped to fundraise thousands of pounds for charity during these efforts and continued to raise awareness through his Ben’s Bowel movements blog.
The whole point of me writing this post is not only to remember a truly remarkable and inspirational person but to learn something from the incredible legacy that they have left behind. As someone who has completed marathons whilst being fully fit before it is very difficult both physically and mentally and for me they have been some of the hardest things I have ever done. For someone to run whilst battling illness/chemotherapy must take an incredible amount of courage, mental toughness and an overall positive and determined attitude.
Ben was also a regular at Cureden Valley Parkrun where a lot of members from my running club go. I have seen him from a distance before but never spoken to him myself but I knew what a wonderful effect he had on other members of Red Rose often running with them during races and giving valuable support and encouragement. Today was the first Parkrun since he passed away. It was a special event and was attended by his wife Louise and their 3 daughters. It was packed and there was around 250 runners and numerous volunteers. Before Parkrun started Louise gave a beautiful speech about how the running community is a family. I normally tend to feel sadness in my heart when people talk about subjects with such emotion but I also felt like I could shed a tear too. I totally agree though. The running community are like a family and have already helped me through some tough times although less serious. The speech was then followed by a beautiful poem describing Ben as a person as well as a rapturous minutes applause. Parkrun then continued as normal.
As I’m writing this I also remember the snooker player Paul Hunter who also sadly passed away from Cancer in October 2006. Paul continued to play in major tournaments also whilst in between treatment for chemotherapy and even once took his shoes and socks off to do foot exercises in between frames. The point I’m trying to make by giving you these 2 great examples is the same. When a person is given a challenge or a difficulty the way you react to it is very important. Both of these incredible sportsmen reacted in a positive way and tried their best not to let it affect them and from that I have learnt 5 valuable lessons which I wish to share with you all below:
1. Make the most of every moment and spend quality time with those who you love.
2. Make the most of great opportunities that come your way.
3. You can still achieve dreams and ambitions despite challenges coming in the way.
4. By showing positivity, you can inspire others and leave a legacy.
5. If others with more serious challenges can achieve their dreams and ambitions then why can’t I?
Number 5 is the biggest thing I hope you take away from reading this post. In everything you do, you may face different challenges but if you want something badly keep moving through the challenges and try to move forward.
In honour of Ben and all his amazing achievements myself and a few other people from Red Rose want to run 12 marathons in 12 months and raise lots of money for the charities which Ben supported. I’ll hopefully post another blog post in the next few weeks, keeping you updated.
For more info on Ben please click on his Ben’s bowel movements blog link below:
For more information on Paul Hunter please click below: