Fun run his next chal­lenge

Waikato Times - - Front Page - MIKE BAIN

A fall left Ben Jenk­ins with a se­vere spinal in­jury but soon he’ll put that aside to com­pete in the third an­nual Lug­ton’s Round the Bridges fun run.

The 12-year-old from Cam­bridge will be among 5500 run­ners and walk­ers ex­pected to take part in the Hamil­ton event on Novem­ber 19.

Par­tic­i­pants will choose be­tween a 2km, 6km or 12km op­tion and while most will run for fun, Ben had set some per­sonal goals to achieve.

Ben’s spinal in­jury came af­ter an 8-me­tre fall from a tree, which nearly left him paral­ysed. The in­jury dam­aged the right side of his body and he now walks with a limp.

He had to re­learn every move­ment but with train­ing he’s quickly made progress.

Ear­lier this year he com­peted at the Hal­berg Games and was look­ing for­ward to this week­end’s chal­lenge. Ben re­mained con­fi­dent he would achieve a good time but was wor­ried about the weather.

‘‘If it’s too hot I ex­pect it will be a strug­gle as I don’t cope with the heat.’’

He ex­plained as a re­sult of his ac­ci­dent, his body no longer reg­u­lated heat as well as an able­bod­ied per­son could. His leg was in a plas­ter cast which would be re­moved be­fore his 6km run.

Al­though lim­it­ing his prepa­ra­tion, it hasn’t stopped him from train­ing.

Ben had been un­der the guid­ance of a per­sonal trainer, David Rob­son from Fit Fu­tures, an or­gan­i­sa­tion set up to pro­vide per­sonal train­ing op­tions for peo­ple with phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties.

‘‘We have been work­ing on in­creas­ing Ben’s strength in or­der to bal­ance both sides of his body,’’ said Rob­son.

The course for the Round the Bridges starts in Vic­to­ria St be­tween the Fair­field and Claude­lands bridges.

PHOTO: MIKE BAIN/STUFF

Show­ing the grit needed in train­ing, Ben Jenk­ins is helped by Fit Fu­tures Char­i­ta­ble Trust trainer David Rob­son.

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