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Front garden run is tough test for ‘Ultra’ man Ben as he raises money for West Suffolk Hospital's My WiSH charity




He famously broke a world record after running the London Marathon with a tumble dryer on his back but Ben Blowes faced one of his toughest challenges – in his front garden.

The 47-year-old was due to run the South Downs Way 50 but after the race was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis, he instead decided to run 50 miles around the front garden of his Gazeley home in aid of West Suffolk Hospital’s My WiSH charity.

Starting at 6am on Saturday April 4, he completed the The Little Front Yard Ultra For The NHS in 15 hours and 31 minutes with his sons Joel, nine, and Spencer, seven, joining him for the finish.

Ben Bowes runs 50 miles around his front garden in Gazeley after the run he had trained for was cancelled..Pic - Richard Marsham. (33037052)
Ben Bowes runs 50 miles around his front garden in Gazeley after the run he had trained for was cancelled..Pic - Richard Marsham. (33037052)

In 2017, the fitness instructor broke the Guinness World Record for being the fastest runner carrying a household appliance weighing 25 kilos after completing the London Marathon with a tumble dryer on his back.

He has also run 33 marathons and a 100-mile race but described Saturday’s feat as ‘brutal’.

Ben Bowes runs 50 miles around his front garden in Gazeley after the run he had trained for was cancelled..Pic - Richard Marsham. (33037008)
Ben Bowes runs 50 miles around his front garden in Gazeley after the run he had trained for was cancelled..Pic - Richard Marsham. (33037008)

“It was probably a bit tougher than I anticipated with the constant stop starting,” he said. “The maximum length of my garden is about five metres. I think I underestimated the fact I was turning every five metres and I couldn’t get into any sort of rhythm.

“It was definitely harder than the tumble dryer.”

Ben Bowes runs 50 miles around his front garden in Gazeley after the run he had trained for was cancelled. His sons, Joel, 9 (R) and Spencer, 7 (L) joined him for parts of the run too..Pic - Richard Marsham. (33037024)
Ben Bowes runs 50 miles around his front garden in Gazeley after the run he had trained for was cancelled. His sons, Joel, 9 (R) and Spencer, 7 (L) joined him for parts of the run too..Pic - Richard Marsham. (33037024)

Towards the end, his knees were badly swollen and a foot injury was causing him pain.

However, Ben, who runs Vivo Outdoor Fitness, said the ‘most important thing’ was the amount of sponsorship raised for My WiSH. He estimates he will have generated nearly £5,000.

“That’s a bit incredible really considering I only decided to do it last Thursday and set up a JustGiving page there and then.”

Spencer also joined him for seven miles of the challenge and well-wishers stopped by.

To donate visit justgiving.com/fundraising/front-yard-ultra