We’re always pleased when people go out of their way to raise money for our charity by organising events, activities or by taking on challenges, so we were thrilled when local runner, Rick Moore said he wanted to run the Brighton Marathon for us. Taking place on 14th April 2019, Rick donned his Benjamin Foundation running vest and running shoes to tackle the challenge! We caught up with him after the event to hear all about this amazing experience:
What made you want to complete the Brighton Marathon?
I started running in January 2017 with a memorial Parkrun for a colleague who suddenly died towards the end of 2016. He was a keen runner having done many marathons. I had never been into running (or exercise in general really!) before then, but I soon fell in love with running after continuing with some 10k races in 2017. In April 2018 I did my first Half Marathon and the buzz on completing it was amazing, it’s then I first thought about doing a Marathon. Watching the London Marathon on the telly later that month and seeing some friends complete it, I decided I had to give 26.2 miles a go. I picked Brighton as my parents live in Burgess Hill and you can just sign up, unlike the ballot with London. I’d also heard it had a great atmosphere.
Why did you decide to run for our charity?
I raised money for another charity with some friends in 2018 in memory of our colleague and knew I wanted to help another charity with doing the Marathon. I wanted to choose a local charity and not one of the bigger ones that you always hear about. I’ve also got a young family so when I read about The Benjamin Foundation I knew they were the right choice. I’d never thought about youth homelessness before and couldn’t imagine how hard it must be for young people to get themselves out of that situation.
How was your training?
I really enjoyed the training. I was already a bit of an addict and running 3 times a week so adding on another run and slowing down for the long runs wasn’t too bad. I loved running down Marriotts Way on my long runs and escaping the traffic. The hardest thing was the time it took away from the family at the weekend. I often felt guilty that I was doing something that I really loved but it took up so much of our family time. I didn’t get any injuries until, annoyingly the week before the Marathon, when I pulled a muscle in my leg. It was only a slight pull but made for a very stressful last week. Thankfully it recovered and felt ok on the day.
How did your fundraising go?
I raised about £600 from organising a quiz and chips and raffle night. We’d done the same last year so I knew it could be done relatively easily. Lots of companies were really generous with raffle prizes and a local football club agreed to be the venue again as they hold a weekly quiz already and provided both free of charge. I even manage to get the chips at a discount and delivered! The raffle was really popular, I sold about £300 tickets for £1 each.
Work have been great too, with having a dress down day and bake sale on the last Friday of the month. I also did Guess the number of Parkrunners and Guess my time competitions. The rest has come from my very generous friends and families donations.
What was the atmosphere like on Marathon day ?
The atmosphere was amazing on the day. A lot of the route is really well supported, with some less busy sections too. I loved high fiving people and all the funny signs people had made. I’d only done one race before with lots of spectators which was Run Norwich last year. All the other races I’ve done have been out in the countryside, so it was a big change to my usual environment and really helped on the day.
How did the race go?
This might take a while to describe! I went through so many different emotions during the race. The first half was great and I felt really comfortable, but it was hard from about 15 miles. I wasn’t expecting to find it hard this early, so I just focused on getting to 20 miles, which was the furthest I’d ran in training. Then at 20 miles it was the section of the course with less crowds and we had to run along the coast for the last 4-5 miles into a strong head wind, which was really hard work. My left knee was really hurting at this point and my left calf was cramping, but with 3 miles to go I managed to speed up and still finish under 4 hours, which had been my aim.
I’m really pleased you guys had my name printed on my vest, it really helped! So many people shouted my name and gave me encouragement which was great, especially in the tough moments towards the end. The white vest with black writing and colourful design really stood out too, my family said.
Were there any difficult moments?
Miles 15-20 were hard, miles 20-26 were really hard! It really helped having my family dotted around the course though. My wife was with our little girl at miles, 2, 5, 13 and 24 and I saw my sister, brother in law and parents at miles 14 and 18 roughly.
What were the highlights?
The support from the crowd and my family was brilliant, chatting to fellow runners and people shouting my name in the later stages. I even got recognised a few times from my Instagram running account which was a bit surreal! Also seeing the finish line and feeling so proud that I’d done it at the end.
What was your final race time?
My aim at the start of training was to get under 4 hours, but as it had gone well up until the last week, I adjusted my goal to 3:45-3:50 nearer the day. I started the race at this pace, which was probably a mistake in hindsight, after struggling from mile 15. After a few days to digest everything, I’m really proud but I do want to do another Marathon to see if I could do it quicker. Maybe not for a few years though!
How did you feel when you crossed the finish line?
Exhausted, a bit sick but overjoyed at what I’d achieved!
How did you celebrate?
We all went to an Italian restaurant near my parents and I had a lovely pizza and a beer, which I’d really been looking forward to! Then home for some apple crumble – it’s all about the food for me!
How does it feel to know that the money you’ve raised will help local people?
Amazing, I’m really proud having done the Marathon but it’s also a great feeling to think the money raised will make an actual difference to local young people who are in a difficult situation.
Thank you to The Benjamin Foundation for your support during the training and for doing what you do on a daily basis. The marathon was hard, but you guys are the real heroes in my eyes!
Thank you Rick for all your hard work and fundraising for us!
If you’d also like to take on a sporting challenge to raise money for us, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch on 01603 886932 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick – pictured below. Photo credit: Jo Moore.
The Benjamin Foundation have helped me gain independence, confidence, self-esteem and I have discovered more about myself. They have given me great opportunities and I am ever so grateful to be a part of it. If it wasn’t for them I don’t know where I’d be today. Thank you for shaping my life and giving me hope for a future.