A Grantham man took part in his first marathon at the weekend, in honour of his brother.
Paul Bennett, 42, from Tom Childs Close, Grantham, set out on the gruelling 26.2 mile Rutland Marathon on Sunday, to raise money for The Not Forgotten Association (NFA), a national tri-service charity, which provides entertainment and recreation for the serving wounded, injured or sick and for ex-service men and women with disabilities.
Since Paul’s brother, Royal Navy engineer John Bennett, was diagnosed with a functional neurological disorder in October 2015, the charity has continued to be a great support for him.
Paul said: “John has always been an inspiration to me with his athletic exploits, including ultra-running events such as crossing the Gobi Desert and going through the Amazon jungle. His condition effects his movement, strength, balance and co-ordination, so the transition from being highly active to, at its worst, wheelchair bound has been incredibly challenging, both physically and mentally. The NFA has been a positive support through John’s journey and I’ve always wanted to help them, so the marathon seemed a fitting tribute.”
The senior credit Analyst for Cargill plc, was cheered on by his wife Becky, his children Oliver and Freya and his parents Patricia and Keith Bennett, who watched from the sidelines as he ran along the shores of Rutland water,
Despite the support, Paul admitted that it was tough going at times.
He added: “I had included plenty of hills in my training runs, but did not anticipate just how many hills were on the course. This was the first time that I’d ran further than 20 miles too. Being a 16-stone former prop for Kesteven RFC and the wear and tear associated with that didn’t help.”
But despite the challenges, Paul completed the marathon in an impressive four hours and 17 minutes, raising over £1,000 for the NFA, smashing his original £200 target.
Paul added: “John is really pleased and grateful to me for supporting the charity that has been so positive for him.”
There is still time to donate by visiting www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/paulbennett2001. For more information about the NFA, visit www.nfassociation.org