Runner's challenge to raise funds for mental health charity following his own struggle

A determined runner will set off from Scarborough on a 470-mile trek around Yorkshire to raise funds for a charity close to his heart.

Thursday, 26th July 2018, 2:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd August 2018, 1:18 pm
Ben Dave is preparing for the challenge

Ben Dave, a freelance events and video producer, will attempt to run an entire lap of Yorkshire in just three weeks, covering around 470 miles and climbing more than 47,000 feet along the way.

He will set off from Scarborough on Yorkshire Day, August 1, with his route taking in the Cleveland Way, Yorkshire Dales, Humber Bridge and Spurn Point, before returning to Scarborough.

Ben Dave is preparing for the challenge

Ben decided to take on the Running Yorkshire challenge after suffering a stint of poor mental health.

He said: “I very quickly went from feeling a bit down to locking myself away for days on end. I would break down and cry without warning. It severely affected me.

“I desperately tried to hide how I was feeling and thought it was something I had to face on my own – I was embarrassed. Fortunately, I was surrounded by loving friends and family, and within a few months, I managed to get my life back on track. I also met an incredible woman – my best pal Rach.

“I can honestly say that I have never been happier. Having said that, it scares me how ill I became so quickly. If I hadn’t had my support network around me, I don’t know where I would have ended up.

“I want to do my bit to acknowledge that blip in my life and let people know they are not alone. I’m really hoping that it will encourage more men to talk about their mental health with friends and family.”

Ben is aiming to raise £15,000 for the charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) which is dedicated to preventing male suicide.

Director and Trustee of CALM, Marcus Chapman, said: “It’s people like Ben that are changing the face and stigma of mental health forever. Through honesty and bravery with his own personal struggles, he is helping men all over the UK open up about their own mental health and seek help through charities like CALM.

“Ben’s monumental challenge to run around Yorkshire will without doubt save lives and help CALM in its fight to reduce male suicide - at 84 men a week, still the single biggest killer of young men in the UK.”

To support Ben throughout his journey, Up & Running, a running specialist, has supplied various pieces of kit.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity, said: “He’s raising money for a hugely worthwhile cause and we wish him the very best of luck on this bold and immensely tough challenge.”

Ben, who lives in Harrogate, added: “I’m truly overwhelmed by the incredible support that I’ve had from so many people and I want to say a huge thank you to each and every one of them.”

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