31 Stars Challenge
1573. Ben Blowes
Ben Blowes, from Suffolk, is a fundraising endurance runner who has just completed his ‘31 Stars’ challenge running 31 marathons in 31 consecutive days for ‘Tom’s Trust’ which supports children with brain tumours.
Initially, Ben had hoped to raise £31,000, which would have paid for psychological support for 31 children this year. His challenge, however, has inspired thousands of donations, with over £150,000 so far raised. Ben is a regular marathon runner in aid of charity, including setting a Guinness World Record in 2017 for running the fastest marathon while carrying a household appliance, having completed the London marathon with a tumble dryer strapped to his back. During lockdown, he also ran an ultra-marathon around his garden, completing 2,000 laps over 15 hours, as a way of saying thank you to NHS workers.
In a personal letter to Ben, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I am amazed to hear that you have now completed 31 marathons in 31 consecutive days to raise money for the fantastic ‘Tom’s Trust’.
“I want to congratulate you for not only reaching your £31,000 target, but smashing it five times over.
“Your endurance will provide essential mental health support to children and families coping with brain tumours, so on behalf of every family you have helped, thank you!”
“Thank you for this recognition of an extraordinary month of December last year. I feel humbled to be selected and I hope that by me being awarded this, it can further help the charity ‘Toms Trust’ in its future. As gruelling as this challenge was, the amount of money raised will make a big difference to people’s lives.”