PREVIEW: Charitable runners prepare to run 10km Christmas Cracker

PUBLISHED: 17:40 07 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:53 08 December 2018

Ben Mager pictured with mum Nicky, Andy and Sue Collard, and their daughter Arabella.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Ben Mager pictured with mum Nicky, Andy and Sue Collard, and their daughter Arabella. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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Hundreds of people will run along Weston's seafront during this weekend's Christmas Cracker.

Ben Mager pictured with mum Nicky, Andy and Sue Collard, and their daughter Arabella.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONBen Mager pictured with mum Nicky, Andy and Sue Collard, and their daughter Arabella. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Weston Athletics Club’s seasonal event is back with people set to take on a 10km course along the beach and prom.

Runners have been able to choose from a variety of charities to support and Weston’s Ben Mager is no different.

Twenty-one-year-old Ben was born eight weeks premature and had a brain haemorrhage, leaving him with hydrocephalus which caused him to get cerebral palsy.

He also suffers from epilepsy.

Ben Mager pictured with mum Nicky, Andy and Sue Collard, and their daughter Arabella.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTONBen Mager pictured with mum Nicky, Andy and Sue Collard, and their daughter Arabella. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

It was unknown if Ben would be able to walk or talk but he is now preparing to run the 10km route for the Bone Cancer Research Trust and to raise awareness about epilepsy after having a seizure while out running.

Ben’s mum, Nicky, said: “Ben’s training is going really well – he started in May and was going out on his own two to three times a week.

“At the end of May when Ben was out running by himself, he had a seizure.

“This really knocked Ben’s confidence and he was understandably scared to run on his own but still very determined to continue with his training.”

Nicky and her sister Maria joined Ben on his runs and the trio signed up for the Christmas Cracker.

Nicky added: “For Ben, with his disability and the added uncertainty of seizures, to run 10km is like climbing a mountain.”

But is it not just Ben and his family taking part in the challenge. Seven self-proclaimed couch potatoes from The Let’s Do…Project are also giving it a go for Weston Hospicecare.

For 16 weeks, the runners trained with the athletics club to prepare for the event and are now ready to hit the sands.

The project founder, Marti Pickford, said: “This has been a brilliant experience to be a part of.

“I have seen this group of inactive, isolated adults unite and become a team of runners.

“It has been a privilege to watch them overcome their personal barriers and gain so much confidence through running.”

The Mini-Cracker, a 2km fun run, will start at 10am on Sunday followed by the 10km at 11am.

Registration will be from 9am at Weston College’s Knightstone base.

The race will begin at the Grand Pier in Marine Parade.

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