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Aug. 27, 2018

#012 Ben Dave running around Yorkshire in aid of CALM

#012 Ben Dave running around Yorkshire in aid of CALM

Welcome to the Inside Yorkshire Podcast, a podcast full of stories and tales from the people of Yorkshire. On today’s episode, Susan talks with Ben Dave about his incredible Yorkshire run, the challenges he faced, and the desire to raise money and awareness for mental health that kept him going even as he faced Yorkshire's formidable terrain.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ben Dave circumnavigated Yorkshire on foot, running more than 495 miles in 18 days.
      • Prior to this, Ben says he’s only been running seriously for three or four years and didn’t run his first real marathon until 2016.
      • During this challenge, he was essentially running a marathon a day.
      • His longest day was 37 miles, his shortest was 13 miles.


  • Ben says the hardest part of the journey was tackling all the different types of terrain.
      • His route included the tallest mountain in Yorkshire and the highest pub in England - in the same day!
      • He would have to run through bogs and marshland, carefully picking his way across the treacherous ground with only a backpack of the bare essentials.
      • About half the time he had people running with him, but for much of the run, he was all on his own.


  • The aim of the Yorkshire run was to raise awareness and money for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably).
    • After struggling through a period of depression that left him feeling isolated, Ben wanted to create a wide platform for telling his story and starting conversations about mental health.
    • Over the course of his run, Ben has raised over 26,000 pounds so far for CALM.
    • He’s already prepping for his next marathon.

Best Moments:

  • “The officials' last count was 495.6 miles, I kinda wish I’d found another four miles from somewhere.”
  • “I knew it was certainly achievable, from looking at what other people have done.”
  • “You sort of quickly learn about the different grasses and the different reeds and where you can’t put your foot and where you can.”
  • “At the time it felt incredibly lonely and isolating and it kind of felt like I was the only one that was going through it. And I wanted to do something to sort of publicly say that I’ve been through it because I kind of knew it would help people.”
  • “It’s only when you open up yourself that you realize that a lot more people have trouble than own up to it, and I think the more of us that can be open about it, the less of a social stigma it is.”

Valuable Resources:



About the Host:

Susan has been living in Yorkshire for over 30 years. She is passionate about the county she has adopted as her home and she never ceases to be amazed at the wealth of talent ‘Inside Yorkshire’ and the tales that people have to tell.

About the Guest:

This young man decided to raise awareness of men’s mental health issues by running around the boundary of Yorkshire in an effort to raise funds for mental health charity CALM. Ben is a keen runner, having run several marathons already, but had not taken into consideration the huge variety of terrain that would be involved. He set off on Yorkshire day, 1st August, and ran for 18 days - almost 500 miles in total. This is his story of one man’s epic achievement raising funds for a charity dear to his heart.

Contact Method:

Susan Baty-Symes

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