Runners take on events for charity

A Harrogate man is nearing the end of a gruelling cross-Britain running challenge.

Ben Cooper, 22, suffers from Hypermobility Syndrome (Type 3 EDS), which means his joints have an unusually large range of movement. People with Joint Hypermobility can experience joint pain, back pain, dislocated joints and soft tissue injuries.

Despite this, former Harrogate Grammar School pupil Ben set himself and friend George Williams the task of completing four Bupa Great Runs across the country, in Sheffield, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Portsmouth.

Ben was advised running a 26.2 mile marathon in one go would be unwise given his condition, but the 10 miles of last weekend’s Portsmouth event brought the total run by the pair to 35 miles, since the first event on September 2.

They are aiming to raise £5,000 for the Hypermobility Syndrome Association (HMSA), which works to raise awarness and promote research into the condition.

Ben said: “I want to raise the profile of these rare conditions by taking part in this challenge.

“I am hoping to raise £5,000, which would be the biggest donation the HMSA has ever received. I am confident of getting there.”

He added: “Before I started the challenge, I knew how difficult it would be. After the half marathon in Birmingham, I was really hurting, it was the most physically enduring thing I have ever done by far.

“All donations, whether big or small, will go a long way in helping the HMSA and ultimately lead to improving the support & quality of life for people with the condition.”

A spokesperson for HMSA said: “The Hypermobility Syndrome Association (HMSA) is extremely grateful to Ben and George for taking on these series of challenges in aid of raising funds for a poorly recognised condition. People with a hypermobility syndrome (HMS) often experience chronic pain, soft tissue injuries and fatigue which is why it is such a huge challenge for Ben who also has this condition. Ben is an inspiration to everyone with HMS.”

Donations can be made by following the links at 4greatrunschallenge.wordpress.com