Bank holidays are traditionally a day of rest and a day off work. However, as any runner knows it’s also a day where there is more than likely a local race or other running event going on that you could take part in and squeeze in another running adventure and that’s exactly what I did this past Bank Holiday Monday at a great local event, Avenham 5k which is a fantastic little race.

Every year, this race does really well and is very well attended and raises lots of funds going to a worthwhile cause, Cash for Kids which is a local Preston charity endorsed by local radio station Rock FM which makes it all the more worthwhile. Running or marshalling the race over the last 4 years means it’s always featured in my diary but this year was to be even more memorable as I got to run alongside my amazing buddy Ben Ashworth who just over a year ago had major liver surgery as part of his treatment in managing his terminal bowel cancer condition. Why was it so special? Mainly because I got to run with a hero, one who’s every breath was filled with pain due to the after effects of surgery and complications throughout recovery. Why is he my hero? Well, it’s pretty easy to define and that is because every day is a blessing, every run is a gift, every conversation with his friends and family is precious and Ben is an inspiration and more. He is a role model and a truly, genuinely nice human being.

At Cuerden Valley parkrun with Ben

Ben can qualify the benefits of running, in terms of the physical health improvements and also the mental health benefits running gives to us all. An important factor for everyone who may be taking their first steps in their running journey or those who are seasoned event athletes. What’s not to like about running? Breathlessness, aches and pains are often all part of our experiences at some point in our running journey and Avenham 5k certainly brought that to the finish line for Ben. Anyone who knows me will be aware that I can talk, a lot, but for once I was left speechless as my lovely, brave, modest and heroic friend grabbed my hand and sprinted for the finish line.

About to cross the line with Ben

We crossed together and then I knew I just had to find Louise (Ben’s wife) as he looked ‘ill’… what a race, what a day spent with friends, family and some of my current coached athletes. You all rock! You can also check out Ben’s blog and keep up to date with the latest in his life.