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One marathon isn’t enough…

James Bennett is taking on a challenge to complete four marathons in four days. Here he talks to reporter Aidan Barlow about charity fundraising and running

Tell us about yourself?
I’m 23 and I live near the Memorial Park in Herne Bay with my mum. I went to school at what is now the Spires Academy before studying at Canterbury Christ Church University. My first degree was in business studies, then I did my MA in international business with marketing. Now I am an activities organiser for the Kent and Medway Stem Net, helping children and young people get access to careers in science-technology, engineering and maths. It is only a temporary contract which has just been extended until July, but I hope I can help inspire children as that has always been my goal. The best thing about living in Herne Bay is the beach. I love the view and going out to Reculver as well.

How long have you been running?
For the last three or four years. I ran in the Brighton marathon last year. It was very tough for my first one, but I’ve now done 10 marathons. I’ve trained over the weekend, and I want to reach 100 marathons by the end of next year, so by this time next year it will probably be about 50. I just started with it as something to do for a hobby to take up and keep fit. I enjoy running along the coast. I go past Reculver, Hampton and sometimes out to places like Minnis Bay.

What challenge will you be doing?
I will be running four marathons in four days. It is daunting, in fact extremely daunting, because I’ve only done two marathons in two days before. So four in four days is not something I’m used to, I don’t know how it is going to go. After 26 miles it is really hard to get back up the next day and do it all again and again and again. But when you see celebrities like Eddie Izzard doing it, it is really inspiring. So knowing you’re doing something similar for a great cause is really great. The first is on St George’s Day in Walmer in Deal, then there is another on April 24 at Samphire Hoe near Dover, then one on April 25 at Flow Meadow near Deal, and finally the London marathon on April 26.

Who are you running for?
There are lots of big charities who raise millions, but I think doing something for a small charity will help build their profile, and make people aware there are different ones out there. I’m running to raise money for Women and Children First, a charity which helps mothers in poor continents like Africa and Asia with giving birth. In many countries there is a high death rate from pregnancy, stillborn babies, and deaths of children at an early age. It is a great charity with a big vision, but they need help to bring the vision to life. I want to help make a difference by helping women who might lack the knowledge or support in giving birth by ensuring they get the best support available, and stop mothers and babies dying needlessly. In the western world we often take the healthcare we have for granted. So many countries need a lot of support. I’m also running a quiz night on Tuesday, April 28, to raise more money. It will be at the G Casino in Westwood Cross at 8pm.
• To find out more about James’ fundraising visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/jamesbennett14

Herne Bay Gazette, March 26th 2015

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