Paula completes epic run chal­lenge

Loughborough Echo - - NEWS - By Me­gan Cox me­gan.cox@trin­i­tymir­

LAST year a Lough­bor­ough woman set her­self the chal­lenge of run­ning 5km ev­ery day, for 365 days.

And, de­spite a torn calf and some dif­fi­cult times, she has com­pleted her last run and raised £1,800.

On Thurs­day, Au­gust 31, Paula Benis­ton, of Buck­ing­ham Drive, Lough­bor­ough, joined by a group of sup­port­ers, fin­ished the 365 Run Chal­lenge.

Paula de­cided to push her­self with a year of non-stop run­ning af­ter meet­ing her sis­ter and nephew through so­cial me­dia.

The run­ner did not know of her fam­ily mem­bers as she said her fa­ther moved away from the area.

While she was get­ting to know her fam­ily, she dis­cov­ered that her teenage nephew Cal­lum is in re­mis­sion for neu­rob­las­toma - a rare type of can­cer of spe­cialised nerve cells that mostly af­fects ba­bies and young chil­dren.

It was af­ter hear­ing how Wishes 4 Kids - a char­ity that grants a wish for young­sters in Le­ices­ter­shire who are life lim­ited, ter­mi­nally ill, or have ex­pe­ri­enced life-chang­ing trau­mas - had helped Cal­lum go to Dis­ney­land Paris that Paula de­cided to lace up her train­ers and take on the chal­lenge.

She told the Echo she wanted to raise funds to “give an­other fam­ily a chance to have a hol­i­day” and “give some­thing back”.

To date, Paula has raised £1,800 through spon­sor­ship and do­na­tions.

She also hosted a vir­tual run - a self-mo­ti­vated com­pe­ti­tion that is or­gan­ised on­line - and a fam­ily fun evening at The Beacon Inn, Lough­bor­ough, which took place fol­low­ing her last run.

She told the Echo: “The last run was emo­tional and there was a good turnout of run­ners join­ing me.

“I’ve had a cou­ple of in­juries along the way and a torn calf.

“I did find it re­ally tough af­ter Christ­mas through to March, they were re­ally long, dark months and I found it phys­i­cally and men­tally dif­fi­cult.

“No one was do­nat­ing and I was get­ting up early ev­ery morn­ing.

“But I picked my­self up and gave my­self a good talk­ing to.”

Paula says she has more money com­ing in and hopes her fi­nal fig­ure will be around £2,500.

De­spite not hav­ing rest for a year, Paula told the Echo she has more run­ning chal­lenges lined up.

She said: “I’ve signed up for my first marathon in Oc­to­ber and a 24-hour run in Septem­ber.

“I’ve also en­tered the Lon­don Marathon and should find out if I’ve been ac­cepted in Oc­to­ber.

“But I think I’ll have a nice rest af­ter this!”

• Paula’s Just­Giv­ing page can be found at www.lough­bor­oughe­cho. net/news/lo­cal-news/paula-take365th-run-com­plete-13550262

Pic­tured is Paula Benis­ton with her nephew Cal­lum.

Paula Benis­ton with the group that joined her on her 365th run.

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