The 26.2 mile distance saw Ben battling the elements and muddy trails during the off road, challenging route from Salisbury to Winchester – along the ancient Clarendon Way, following country tracks and paths, many of which have not changed since being travelled by the ancient Kings and Queens of England.
Ben ran the Clarendon Marathon to keep his sponsors going ahead of now running the London Marathon in October 2021, postponed from April 2020.
It was very wet, muddy and very hilly. He quietly hoped that he would be able to get a sub 4-hour time on the flat roads of the London Marathon, but for this one his expectation was that it would take a lot longer.
Not only did Ben complete this gruelling challenge in a phenomenal time of just 3 hours and 58 minutes – but thanks to his generous supporters he has raised a fantastic £2,654 to date!!
“I had trained hard for this, motivated by Sullivan's Heroes, and started off feeling good – in fact a little too good, and it was a job to slow myself down knowing that I had to pace well to finish – particularly aware of the hills that awaited me. As the miles and hills rolled by, I could see that tucking in under 4 hours might be possible. It was getting tough and energy levels were fading just after 20 miles, but then I saw Fiona and Richard from Sullivan’s Heroes! It gave me such a lift and put a spring in my step for the next couple of miles! I kept the pace going, but at 24 miles my feet were cold and numb from running through so many deep muddy puddles, and my legs felt like lead. I guess this was me ‘hitting the wall’ – the phase of a marathon I had heard so many talk about. I had to shorten my goals (inspired by sport psychology learnt from our Haslar Marina Hero, Alex Thomson Racing) and just focus on getting around the next corner or up the next hill. I finished completely spent, but elated. The beer tasted great afterwards!”
Having successfully completed his first ever marathon though, Ben is far from hanging up his running shoes, as he now continues his training to be ready and raring for the mighty London Marathon 2021!
We are extremely grateful to Ben for his continued commitment in raising funds for Sullivan’s Heroes – to provide financial grants for disabled children’s home adaptations to meet their care and health requirements, so they can continue to be cared for at home, safely and with dignity.
We wish Ben well in his continued training and thank all those who have supported Ben and Sullivan’s Heroes.
To show your support for Ben in his London Marathon 2021 challenge, and raise funds for Sullivan’s Heroes please visit: www.virginmoneygiving.com/BenLippiett