London Marathon: Ben Usher

Ben Usher

We recently caught up with Ben to find out his reasons for running the London Marathon for EHAAT and see how his training is going.

Why did you choose to run the marathon for EHAAT?

I worked at North Weald where the EHAAT Airbase is, so I saw the helicopter on a regular basis. I was also in the Fire Service for a couple of years, so I’ve seen first-hand what the Paramedics and Doctors do. I have complete admiration for how they deal with situations and how they work. EHAAT are always going to be a Charity that’s close to my heart. I’m lucky that I don’t know anyone that’s needed their assistance, but as I have seen what they do first-hand, I will always try to support them.

Have you fundraised for EHAAT before?

Yes. I’ve completed Everest Base Camp. That was a 14 day trek, taking about 10 days to get to base camp. I did it through a company alongside 13 other people. It was pretty tough. You think, ‘Oh we’re starting to get high now, I can feel the altitude, we must be close,’ but then you go back down, and then back up the next day and so on. It’s relentless. And then you have to deal with the many bugs flying around!

Ben Usher - Mt Everest

How do you plan to fundraise this time?

Well it hasn’t started that well so far as I’m asking the same friends and family to support me as before; I only completed Everest Base Camp in March. So I need to come up with some more creative ideas for fundraising. I’ve got a quiz night and a paella party on 1st March, so hopefully that will raise a large chunk for me. I only moved to the village I’m holding it in recently, but that means it will be a new bunch of people attending. Everyone loves a charity event so it will be fine!

Have you done any long distance running before? Or any similar challenges?

I’ve run two marathons before; Brighton and a trail marathon (running off road). Three hours 43 minutes is my best time, so I’d like to get under three hours thirty for this one. I’ve also completed triathlons and I’ve done a Half Ironman before. So I sort of know what I’m getting myself into.

How is the training going? Are you following a specific plan?

I’m up to 13 miles now and plan to go up to 20/22 miles. Most training plans say go up to 20 miles and then just try do the rest on the day. I’ll rely on the adrenaline from the crowd to push me through!

I’m doing an Ironman in July (2.4 mile swim, 112 miles cycling and then a 26 mile run), so in some aspects this is a training run for that… I like a challenge! I think I’ll need a break next year to give my body a rest though.

Any tips for anyone thinking of taking up running?

Try to find someone to do the training with. Trying to run 18 miles or so by yourself is tough. You get part of the way through and go to a bit of a dark place as you’re not enjoying it. So I think running with friends or a local running club is good. I’m part of Harlow running club which helps for me.

Also, try not to go off too quick on the day. It’s always to do it as you get caught up in all the other runners. It’s so congested at the beginning. You need to be patient and wait for it to clear out before you start properly. If you’ve got a rough idea of the time you’re aiming for and you know the pace you should be running, then stick to that.

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Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1108989). Registered company in England and Wales (05397840). Registered address: Flight House, The Business Centre, Earls Colne Business Park, Earls Colne, Colchester CO6 2NS.

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