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Keep On Running

In March and April of this year respectively, I ran the Sheffield Varsity 10K and the Sheffield Half Marathon to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity. Below is the email I scribbled, after months of hard training and completing both events, to those friends, family and acquaintances who were kind enough to dig deep and sponsor me. If, after reading, you're able to do the same, or just want to make a donation to Mind, you can check out the link to the charity's website here, or else visit my JustGiving page. Cheers.




Hi all,

This'll be the last of these mail-outs - just wanted to let you all know how I got on in both the Sheffield Varsity 10K (23 March) and the Sheffield Half Marathon (6 April), all to raise money for the excellent charity Mind.
The Varsity 10K was a great little event - 352 runners took part on a sunny Sunday morning, the whole thing organised by a great team of University and Hallam students. Three laps of an undulating course (this is Sheffield after all) around two of the city's leafy parks. I finished in #37 with a not-too-shabby time of 41:37, which I was more than happy with (not least since I was recovering from a bout of man flu). That's me setting off from the start line, No. 373.

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 As you'll doubtless have seen from the news reports that went national, the Sheffield Half was a very different affair. Viva la People's Republic of South Yorkshire! And what a race. Proud to say myself and Helen Mort were among the "rebel runners" near the front who decided to kick on anyway, darting through police roadblocks. No way I wasn't going to do it after all the training I'd put in, and for Mind and all the people like your good selves who've already sponsored me. Out of a field of 4,172 runners I finished #164 with a time of 1:32:11, which under the circumstances I was totally chuffed with. Massive thanks should go to the people of Sheffield, who managed in half-an-hour what the race organisers couldn't with weeks of preparation. Amazing scenes.



But the real point of my writing is to say THANK YOU. Thank you to all of you who've dug deep and given generously. You kept me resolved to finish both races, and encouraged me to push my running to the limit.

If you haven't given yet and you'd like to, don't worry - there's still time! The link to my JustGiving page is right here. You don't need a PayPal account or anything, just a credit or debit card to make a totally secure payment.
I'll leave the last words to Bill Bowerman, running coach to the legendary Steve Prefontaine, which seem particularly apt:


 
"Running, one might say, is basically an absurd pastime upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning in the kind of running you do, chances are you will be able to find meaning in another absurd pastime - Life."


all good wishes, and thank you again,

BW




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About the Author

Welcome to the website of the English poet and critic, Ben Wilkinson.
Ben was born in Staffordshire and now lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. He received his first degree from the University of Sheffield, and holds an MA and PhD from Sheffield Hallam University. He has won numerous awards for his poetry, including the Poetry Business Competition and a 2014 Northern Writers' Award
His debut full collection of poems, Way More Than Luck, appeared from Seren Books in February 2018.
He is a keen distance runner, lifelong Liverpool Football Club fan, and among other things he works as poetry critic for The Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement. You can find many of his reviews on this site.
To contact Ben about readings, workshops, or for any other enquiries, you can drop him a line at benwilko(at sign)gmail.com. Unfortunately, I am not able to consider unsolicited requests from authors for book reviews.

You can follow Ben on Twitter - @BenWilko85 - and on Facebook.

You can find B…