By Hollie Bone
A dad has been dubbed the SUPER JOGGER after running 200 miles just to get to the start of the London Marathon – before completing the race in four and a half hours.
Simon Benbow, 36, ran 40 miles a day after setting off from his hometown of Nantwich, Cheshire last Monday [April 22] before arriving in the capital city just in time to complete the 26.2 mile challenge on Sunday.
The dad-of-two and supermarket baker said he ‘brushed off’ the fact he’d had cancer after undergoing a successful operation to remove a melanoma from his arm in December 2015.
But in February 2017, a year after depression survivor Simon got the all clear from doctors, his mum Glenys, 58, died from ovarian cancer – leaving him feeling so low ‘some days he didn’t want to wake up’.
Simon said: “I didn’t really deal with my mum’s death properly. I had been upset obviously, but just like when I brushed aside my cancer, I just buried it all.
“My moods were getting worse and worse, I was becoming irritable and then a few months later it got to the point where I’d go to bed and cry myself to sleep, not wanting to wake up in the morning.
“I had dug myself in a massive hole and I knew I needed to do something to get better.”
Last summer Simon decided to reach out for help by going to his doctor, who suggested he revisit his hobby of running as an outlet to improve his general wellbeing.
But it wasn’t until this year the determined dad decided he was going to push himself to the absolute limit – not just completing one marathon distance, but running 40 miles every day for a week just to get to the start line.
On Sunday, Simon joined more than 40,000 other runners completing the marathon in four hours 36 minutes – less than 10 minutes over his personal best – and raising £5,500 for Children’s Cancer UK.
Three time marathon completer Simon said: “Because I have run the London Marathon twice before to raise money, I felt like I wouldn’t raise that much if I just did it again.
“I wanted to push myself and I wanted to do something different that would inspire people to donate.
“I just got this mad idea in my head in the spur of the moment that I could actually run there. When I sat down and looked at the route I realised I actually could do it.
“I knew I’d complete it but I thought I would be walking the whole way. I started by taking it slowly, I thought I’ll just see how far I could get before my legs gave in.
“But they kept going, and I was able to pick up the pace a bit right until the finish line.
“I think it’s given me the closure that I always needed from my own cancer and my mum’s.
“Despite how hard it was, the sense of achievement and the messages I’ve had from people have been incredible.
“I’m in a much better place now for having done it.”