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To Give Anything Less Than Your Best Is To Sacrifice the Gift - an appeal

BW (centre), Sheffield Hallam 5K parkrun race, 30 August 2014. Finish time: 18'39"


On the 14 September, myself and Helen Mort will both be running the inaugural Chesterfield Marathon. And I've a small favour to ask.

As a keen 5K and 10K runner, this is my first full marathon, and one I've be training hard for: new trainers, 80s-style headband, "There Is No Finish Line"-emblazoned vest, the works. Even Charlie, our lovely racing whippet, has been out helping us on the shorter runs.

But the big reason we've put in the hours and many, many miles of training is to raise as much as we can for a cause close to both of our hearts: Shelter.

Every 11 minutes, a family in Britain loses their home.

Shelter believes that everyone should have a place to live and they campaign to alleviate the distress caused by homelessness and bad housing, giving advice, information and advocacy to people in housing need and trying to generate lasting political change.

What'd help MASSIVELY is if you could sponsor the two of us, to help Shelter carry on doing the vital work they do, supporting those in need:

https://www.justgiving.com/Helen-Ben-marathon/

Whatever you can give, if you're able to, will help hugely. Thank you so much.

Speaking of support, I can't tell you how much I appreciated yours earlier this year, when I ran the Varsity 10K and the Sheffield Half-Marathon for Mind, the mental health charity. I was recovering from illness when I ran the former and the latter was officially cancelled, but it was your backing that made me knuckle down, and complete both races in the times I was aiming for.

I'll leave the last words to Bill Bowerman, running coach to the legendary Steve Prefontaine:

"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."


Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money direct to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

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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.

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Way More Than Luck (Seren Books, 2018)

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