Ben gives Yorkshire the run-around

Words and photos by Dave Barry

A man who ran 500 miles around the Yorkshire boundary has raised over £20,000 for a suicide charity.

Starting and finishing in Scarborough, Ben Davis ran up the coast to the northern extremes of the county, taking in the Cleveland Way then the Yorkshire Dales, the Humber Bridge and Spurn Point.

He set off on Yorkshire Day - 1 August - and crossed the finishing line on the south-bay beach on 18 August.

Carrying his camping equipment on his back, Ben, 31, tackled a landslide, fell in a river and scaled the highest peak in Yorkshire - Whernside - as he ran the equivalent of a marathon a day.

His spirits were kept high by amateur runners joining him for stints along the way.

Ben’s #RunningYorkshire project was in aid of Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm), which is dedicated to preventing male suicide.

He easily smashed his £15,000 target by raising over £20,000.

Afterwards, he said: “I can’t believe I’ve actually done it and I’m totally elated. This has been such an adventure, way more than I ever anticipated. I’ve got so many memories from the run that will stay with me forever.

“To say it was tough is an understatement and I can’t really put into words how my body’s feeling. I underestimated the terrain in some places but I’m so thankful for all the amazing support I’ve received. The people that came out to join me on the route really helped keep me going and the amount of money I’ve been able to raise is just unbelievable”.

Calm chief executive Simon Gunning said: “We have been blown away by Ben’s challenge. Calm relies on the dedication of our supporters in raising the funds that allow us to continue helping men who are down or in crisis, and Ben’s approach to this challenge has epitomised everything that Calm is about.

“We’ve proudly watched him tick off the many miles while involving other members of the community in the journey and using this platform to share his own story. The energy Ben has shown towards suicide prevention is inspiring”.

Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, which supported Ben’s run, said: “What Ben has achieved over the last three weeks is truly remarkable and the toughness and determination he has shown is an inspiration to us all.

“He is a credit to our great county and I wholeheartedly congratulate him for not only completing this heroic challenge, but for also raising a vast amount of money for a hugely worthwhile cause”.

For full information on the project, visit www.runningyorkshire.com.

Donations can still be made at www.justgiving.com / fundraising / runningyorkshire.