I knew there would be a vote this week, but I didn’t expect to be involved in my own poll. Things moved at quite a pace yesterday. I thought it was nice when I was first tagged in comments in the original post by the Manchester Evening News. They were asking for nominations for someone to help Paula Radcliffe start the final wave of the Great Manchester Run. But then it really took off and I’ve been bowled over by everyone’s support. I didn’t want to ask for people’s nomination or votes, but it made me smile when Louise posted on the Ben’s Bowel Movement’s Facebook page Lots of people, especially at Chorlton Runners, Red Rose Road Runners and Lymm Runners clubs (among other running clubs!) have really gotten behind me, not to mention all the other guys and girls. But there’ve also be a few Team GB athletes lending their support too (including a retweet from Adam Gemili, thanks Kelly Massey!!) and people from around the world as far as New Zealand and Australia have got involved too.Like many of you I’ve followed Paula Radcliffe’s career over the years. She’s an incredible athlete. Her marathon work record has stood for 12 years and isn’t likely to be broken any time soon. In 2011 she ran the Berlin Marathon as part of her preparations for the Olympics. At the time I’d just run the Great North Run and had started to take my running more seriously. I watched the entire race with interest, fell in love with the Berlin Marathon and hoped to run it myself one day. I started to train for my first marathon, but as many of you know instead of running the Blackpool Marathon in March 2012 I was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer instead. When I started running again in January 2014 Berlin was the first marathon I booked on the way to organising my original 6 marathons in 6 months challenge. So in a way Paula Radcliffe is partly responsible for me running all these silly marathons. Just running in the Great Manchester Run would be massive for me. 2013 was a very tough year. In February that year Louise and I were told that my cancer was terminal and I might not live to see Christmas. Following the advice of our Oncologist (the Indian Uncle I Never Knew We Had) we crammed the next few months with fun and made as many memories as we could. That May through some friends I got tickets to watch Rugby League’s Magic Weekend at the Etihad Stadium. As a friend and I travelled through Manchester I looked longingly at the countless runners we saw and wished I could be part of the GMR one day. I was very ill at the time and it seemed very unlikely, but against the odds on Sunday I’ll be there and taking part in one way or another perhaps cheering from the sidelines, running or maybe even… But the truth is there are four others on that list. Four amazing and very worthy people and just being counted among their number and considered for such an honour is incredible. Any one of the others would love the opportunity to meet such an amazing athlete and would totally deserve to do so. The vote ends at Friday lunchtime, but whatever happens I already feel like a winner. Yesterday I spent a little while reading the messages you left to get me nominated and I must admit I lost my composure a little. It’s a little strange reading nice things written by others about my achievements. I was thinking to myself ‘did I actually do that’. I know I’ve run 14 marathons in 13 months alongside chemo for terminal bowel cancer (I’ve had the blisters to prove it), but I found other things people wrote about me surprising. Some had said that I’ve uplifted and inspired people, while others have talked about the good I’ve done for running, by encouraging people to take up the sport. Lovely things to read and really touching. Thanks so much! You’re amazing and your support is incredible I can scarcely believe that I deserve it.
To vote for me or any of the other nominees click here
Ben’s Bowel Movements. Fighting cancer one challenge at a tIme in support of cancer charities: