Why I Ran for Cerebra by Ben Horne

Ben during the Cardiff World Half Marathon

Ben during the Cardiff World Half Marathon

Ben Horne completed the Cardiff World Half Marathon on 26th March, raising over £150 for Cerebra. He gave us his own frank and honest account as to why he runs and why he wanted to raise money for Cerebra.

“My name’s Ben Horne and I’m a Personal Trainer based in Newchapel, Pembrokeshire. My passion is guiding people to success in the world of physical training and personal self development. I’m on a journey myself, and I’m just so happy to be able to help others along the way.

I have a bug. I was 15 years old when I got ‘the bug’. I wasn’t particularly sporty in school, but discovering a person could overcome great challenges with simple grit and determination sparked something in me that’s never gone away.

I fell in love with physical training and 15 years ago I threw myself headlong into it. It’s been just as much a mental/emotional journey and I think that’s why it’s been so fascinating to me. I’ve seen myself try greatly, fail well and succeed spectacularly. It’s all character building I suppose!

I don’t particularly specialise in running but my philosophy suggests that most healthy individuals should be able to run 13 miles without major problems. I was asked to run for Cerebra late last year in the Cardiff World Half Marathon. My first thought was that this wasn’t a convenient proposition, but as I thought it over I concluded that brain dysfunction was infinitely more inconvenient. My perspective on convenience shifted.

I have a nephew (hello Harvey!) with autism so this was definitely a charity I had a connection to. I knew there were probably plenty of likely candidates out there who would readily run for this charity and it’s work, but that wasn’t the point. I was being asked. Me. I resolved that if anyone should run this, it would be someone well placed to take advantage of their health. I knew I was one of those ‘someones’.

For philosophical reasons, it had become personal. If I turned this call down I felt like I would be forfeiting my integrity. So I agreed to run and I began designing a training schedule to rehearse for the race. I had run a little cross country in school and the opportunity for some longer distance runs appealed to me. Usually my training included short, sharp runs, never usually more than 1-2 miles. And even then, the run would normally be mixed up with weightlifting activities and gymnastics (I do CrossFit for my general physical preparedness).

The weeks passed, the sponsorship money came in and the local countryside lanes became very familiar! Race day came around quickly and I took every opportunity possible to live in the moment, taking in the atmosphere and the experience as a whole. I’d never run 13 miles before. I was relying on the experience and knowledge behind my training to see me through. 90% of my training runs were 4 miles long. Theory said I should manage the distance with relative ease because of the type of training I’d been doing, the lifestyle I live and the ‘barefoot’ style I run with – but the problem with theory is it’s only theory until it’s tested! That test began at about 14:20 on Saturday March 26th.

Well I ran the distance, and the theory was spot on. I covered every mile with a consistent and comfortable pace. My primary objective was to complete the course. My secondary objective was to run at my leisure the whole way. Afterall, I’m not a competitive runner. Just a ‘someone’ with their health. The run was a success and easy enough. The experience was fantastic. I came in in under 2 hours which I’m quite happy with really. I wondered what I could do if I were competitively running!

I’d urge anyone who’s so much as curious to do something like this themselves for charity. To use your body to do some good in this world. And now I’ve archived that half marathon in the mental-vaults of experience hoping to draw upon it in future in my continuing work in helping others achieve their goals.”

To find out more about Ben, check out his website.

You can find out more information about how you can take part in an event for Cerebra on our Run for Cerebra page or you can contact Cecilia Bufton at ceciliab@cerebra.org.uk or 01267 242586.