Blog: Lee Boniface

"10in10 runner 2012"

27 May 2012

How To Save A Life

It's been a week since I left  the Brathay bubble, after completing 10 marathons in ten days. This is my final blog post. How do I begin as I sit in my house on this lovely Sunday morning, finding myself on my own for the first time in over two weeks, Ems has gone with Zak to football and given me a rest day, I am not sure if that's mentally or physically .

I am not sure how to sum up this experience except to say that, the whole experience has shifted my perspective and now I am back nothing looks or feels the same.

The title of the blog piece, is a thought I had when travelling up to Brathay prior to the 10 in 10, and it was this thought, when things get tough, I will need something to move me forward through the pain and frustration, I knew would at some point would engulf me, of course I have my family and friends, but then this thought came to me, by raising this money, all of the 10 in 10ers were and are giving the brathay trust the funds to in many ways save lives, to change lives.

We all know the power of positive leadership from parents and loved ones, and without it where would our lives perhaps be? I know for myself my parents and other significant others have shaped and in their own way, saved my life, or at least let me have informed choices that let me lead a great life and I feel this is what Brathay does for disadvantaged children and young adults.

I Couldn't Bear To Be Special

Words Are Trains For Moving Past Things That Have No Name

The past week I have had so many lovely comments and compliments, all amazed at what I have achieved, this has left me speechless, to be honest, don't get me wrong I am very proud of all that I have done, having only run 6 marathons prior to this event, I feel very proud to be a 10 in 10er, however I am no different from anyone else, in that, lots of what we feel is not possible, is just a belief, we have, it's not the reality , all those people who think what all 18 of us have done is superhuman, could do what we have done, or something similar.

For me this has been the biggest thing that has come from the 10 in 10 , what's the point in playing small in this life, cry, laugh, take a risk, tell someone how much you care, because this thing called life is way too short to be saving yourself for tomorrow.

 Throughout the ten days, I have had some of the lowest moments in my life (day9) some of the highest, and in between really. I started to look forward to small things…..

  • Soup at lunchtime, except one day when it nearly blew my head off!!!
  • A warm shower after the ice bath.
  • Some of us sitting in the bar after treatment with laptops and a pint just shooting the breeze.
  • Bundling in Macks car, giving us all a lift back to Shackleton.
  • The sandwich and tea mack gave me at16 miles on day 9.
  • A look from Aly when I felt my world was falling apart that said you can do this.
  • A text from Aly that I will treasure all my life

And sooo much more …….

Wave Hello Say Goodbye

So many people to thank, first of all to all my fellow 10 in 10ers thanks for all being great, and putting up with me, I know I can be a bit insular sometimes and you always gave me space I hope I did the same for you all too. I have been inspired by each and every one of you, the determination and guts, quite literally humbled me each and everyday, you are all heroes to me. A special mention for my roomy Keith Luxon, this man was the perfect roommate for me, cool collected, and even when he was having a bad day he always never passed it on to me or others, add to that a very dry sense of humour perfect- thank you Keith

Of course Aly and Mack, what can I say that has not been said about you two, all I can say and this might sound a bit soppy, but here goes, I felt truly loved and supported by you and I think every other runner would agree, it's the most amazing feeling to meet people that just believe in you, no questions asked, just believe in your ability to overcome and to be the best you can be, quite inspiring- thank you so much Aly and Mac

Thank you too , to all the family and friends that have supported me and donated, a special thanks to Warren Power who ran the Bognor 10k in my honour on last Sunday having not run before- you’re a legend mate! Plus all the past 10 in 10ers who came and supported and helped inspire me and keep me going, I hope to do the same for others perhaps next year if Aly and mack will let me.


The Body Rehab team without your skill and good humour I would not have made it , thank you so much for what you did, and for putting up with my grumpy moments on the treatment table with good grace and humour.

The many times you told me I was in good shape when I felt I was falling apart really did help raise my spirits- each and everyone of you deserve a medal, even if some of you made me cry like a baby with those elbows and sharp fingers!!

 Thanks Martin for the fantastic videos and your good humour, I never said much but I was always pleased to see your happy face, your love for the 10 in 10 shines through in all you do. Hopefully my wife will stop stalking you now!!

So What's Next Lee?

That's been the question, and I just don't know, people ask would I do it again? Well when I finished last Sunday, I hugged Aly and said don't make me do this ever again! Luckily Martin was still filmingJeff, so this was never caught on film. All I can say is in two years I will be 50, who knows perhaps a run round the lakes might be in order, if they would have me again- thank god Ems never reads my blogs!

Who knows, what I do know whatever it is, my life will never be the same in many micro ways, and for that I am eternally grateful to the 10 in 10 and everyone involved.

Keep well and thanks for reading my Ramblings, remember, run happy, live happy and go that extra mile because life's just too short to be a spectator

Lee xx

There is still time to throw my some pennies at me for a fantastic cause

By Lee Boniface, 27 May 2012 – 6 comments

22 May 2012

Run Thin Boy Run: Day 9 Disaster Day 10 Joy

The last two days of the 10 in 10  have been nothing short of life changing, it has tested my physical and mental strength to the limits that had me crying while running in pain.

Day 9- Disaster In Running Shoes

From the off I knew I was in a bad place mentally a felt very alone and vulnerable physically spent, and I had 26.2 miles to run, with hindsight I should have seen it coming, though I thought I had been eating for England, the truth was I was using  800 calories per hour I was running, and on that basis I was not eating enough and was losing weight, I was like a car running on empty, basically I was in big trouble.

Mind And Body Connection

I never know what comes first but what I can say is on day 9 soon as I started I knew my battered body just was not playing ball, I was soon left behind by every 10 in 10 er, 4 miles gone and 22 to go, to say I was in trouble is putting it mildly, I am not ashamed I wept tears of utter frustration and desperation, mind and body shot.

The next 15. Miles were pure torture the best I could do was a kind of shuffle, it had taken me 20 minutes to catch some walkers that were only 200 meters in front of me, that's how slow I was moving. The only upside was I got to finish a whole audio book!

Mac And Aly To The Rescue

I don't know on day nine what I would have done with out Mac and Aly and other support team , Mac gave me some tea a sandwiches at mile 16, still 10 miles to go, by this point my feet were swelling, to the point I was having trouble walking I suddenly realized I might actually not finish, I have been in some dark places in my life, but my body and fitness have always seen me through, I have never feared distance, now ten miles felt like a 1000.

Aly was there at 22 miles she had spoken, to body rehab, choices, cut the trainer on my left side to release the swelling, which now was rubbing against the top of the trainer. I decided on some anti inflames plus a past 10 in 10 er used some sort of natural healing device, I was willing  to try anything.

Well  the combination seemed to work and I was able to run quite a bit freely than I had been, as I approached the last mile, Howard Clark jogged that last mile with me, something I will be eternally thankful for.

 I finally arrived at the finish line just over 7 hours, I was home, a run I never wanted to repeat unfortunately at 9 .30 Sunday I would have to.

I had lunch and teas all within 90 mins of each other, then had treatment booked for 7.30, Andy Nice, a past 10 in 10er said it would make my bottles for the next day so I could have treatment, a small kindness that meant an awful lot to me then and now.

I was treated and checked over by the red cross and told not to run tomorrow if I felt unwell. In my head I was thinking, I am going mate, I didn't just crawl 26.2 miles in 7 hours to give up now.

Day 10 A Fearful Celebration

I was now faced with the fact on the last day, a day I had dreamed about, worked for , trained for, put my family second for, was now in serious jeopardy, for the first time In my life I feared the distance, I feared I might not finish, I hate failure, and the thought gnawed into me at a level that showed up every last vulnerability , stripped naked of ego and the one thing the only thing I have truly been ok at- running, now faced with a crisis of confidence, I will be ever thankful to every one of the 10 in 10 ers who hugged me , supported me, and just gave me the strength to go on.

On The Brathay Lawn

It was time for us to go, Aly went through the ritual, getting us to call out our race numbers in order, we were good to go onto the Brathay lawn and face the crowds.

As we walked out there was a huge cheer, I have to say I wept under the cover of my cap. To be honest by this point I was emotionally all over the place.

26.2 Miles With Cuddles

As I started I knew I felt better, it was steady as she goes after a number of miles I was behind Jeff Priestbridge aka cuddles, this man has the most relaxed running style on the planet , so all the way in I just stayed behind Jeff and watched his trainers, I am so thankful to Jeff, I know what it's like having somebody shadow you when you run, but lacking confidence after day 9, I needed something to hang on to, and though he probably doesn't know it, cuddles saved my bacon by being gracious enough to let me follow him round like a lost puppy for most the run- thank you Jeff.

I finally got home to the best finish ever, the crowd, Aly at the end, yes you guessed it I was crying again, gonna have to man up, Steve Edwards , the godfather of the 10 in 10 Ers reckons I cried the most at the end this year, oh well at least I won something!


You can still sponsdor me at


By Lee Boniface, 22 May 2012 – 11 comments

18 May 2012

Chocalate sandwitches and sheep

The most important news I can relay  is Cumbria have the laziest sheep on the planet, there I am knocking my self out running marathons, and each day I go past this laziest of species standing munching grass or laying around doing nothing, someone should get them doing something useful, anyway I have had my say on Cumbria sheep

Back to running 

I was told yesterday I needed to eat more so this morning I had two breakfasts which was very weird , one at 7.30 then at 8.30 I had a chocolate sandwitch, whitch turned out to be a more a emotional  experience than I could have ever thought as it reminded me , of my son Zak calling out for his mum to make him a chocolate sandwitch, and now I know why he gets his mum to spread that stuff, it ain't that easy to spread.

The question you are asking did it work well yes I had more energy sadly at 13 miles my quads just were not working well and I was running slow, but what the heck the end is in site.

Great to see so  many past 10 in 10ers on the course, and special thanks to Howard Clark for helping me stretch out at 21 miles

If you would like to sponsor me please go to http// 

By Lee Boniface, 18 May 2012 – 5 comments

17 May 2012

Day 7: judy it's a rat trap and we have been caught

Today was day 7, and it was really tough, I decided to go out slower as my body was starting to show too much wear, so I wanted a 4.20 4.30 time, I managed 4.33

Getting There

on the surface this sounds pretty good however getting to this time was far harder than I had ever envisaged, my legs screamed, I had limited movement in my  left leg and going down slopes was, well just not very nice.

Aly Was fantastic, and gave me one of here famous hugs, I really thought this run was not going to be like this, I had lots of support from fellow runners Adrian and Howard who could see I was struggling. I was just pleased to finish.

Reasons to be cheerful

This might all seem a bit negative, but I don't feel that way, I will do what it takes to finish, even if my times start to have numbers on I am not used to.

Another reason is the team, what a fantastic bunch of people, from Aly and Macs support and the fellow runners who I could never let down . Finally the brathay trust a charity that's not a thing, it's totally organic, I can see how this organisation adds real value to many young people's lives, for these reasons I will not be bullied by this brute of a course in to submission, however 
much it humbles me.

Funny moment while running today

Lorry driver backing into drive until I shouted no, as I did not want to stop running as my legs hurt so much, he let me pass.
Nice to see 10 in 10er Howard Clark today, especially as he was the man that got me into this mess indirectly last year!

By Lee Boniface, 17 May 2012 – 1 comments

16 May 2012

Playlist 4: Heaven And Hell

When I woke this morning, my body felt great my mind did not, when like this I try not to inflict it on others as most people have enough going on themselves, this is double the case when you are a runner in the 10 in10.

Time To Bring Out Playlist 4

My top tip for the day is whenever doing a playlist, do it under the infulence, of beer or fine wine, it makes your choices less, how shall we say thought out.

Playlist 4 was born out of just these very circumstances about three weeks ago. My mood was right for playlist 4, so as we set off I let it rip. What I was not ready for where all my choices, as the playlist was just track numbers. Songs that reminded me of my wife Ems, and my two children Ellie and Zak, within two miles I was very emotional, the last 5 days can do that to a man, and just lests say I was glad I had my sunglasses on.

Funnily enough I was running well and freely, after some great work by body rehab team, but my feelings where all over the place, I thought of my Nan who was a huge part of my life and what she would of said of me doing this mad adventure.

I thought of Sue Bliss who passed away last year a great friend and one of my best friends sister.

More Pain Less Gain

By this time  my shins, calfs well my legs basically where hurting, and still had a good 10 miles to go, so I shuffled on, Paul foster caught me at 23 miles and was kind enough to offer that we pace in together, a really classy thing to do, however it was plain to me he was in better shape at this point than me, so I thanked him, and he was on his way.

Last Two Miles- Prodigy Breathe

It was time to bring out the big guns for the last two miles , so the Prodigy were put on a loop and I bumbled my way to the finish.

Finish Time 4.05

Day 7 is going to be mega tough for me, my shins, or what ever they are called hurt like hell, times are out the window, getting round a must.

Thought of the Day

Why I am I dropping more things now its harder to pick them up?


If you would like to swell my donation fund go to

By Lee Boniface, 16 May 2012 – 6 comments

15 May 2012

Running Happy: Rest Day Run

After yesterdays tough day I needed to really get my head right for todays 5th Marathon. What I really wanted and needed was a rest day, sadly this is not possible in the 10 in 10!

Run Happy

One of my mantras while training for the 10 in 10 was run happy as  I dident want to make running not fun while training, so I thought it would be a good idea to adopt this for todays run and just take any self imposed pressure off myself.

I decided to have a rest day run where I just enjoyed the course went out in a steady pace and just went with the flow.

The first 13 miles where very steady, my legs where feeling heavy but much better than yesterday thanks to good work by Body Rehab, and Rock tape all over my legs.

I managed in the second half of the run to not only run the second half quicker , but I ran up ice cream mountain too. Finish time 4.15

Does That Mean It All Gravy From Here On In?

Sadly not, this event has to be taken very much on a day by day basis, the course which is brutal has to be respected, and as all our bodys get weaker, I am sure their will be many more ups and downs to come

5 Down 5 To Go

Its funny to be half way through, because for me this is only really starting, the Brathay marathon course has roughed us all up over the last ten days and now is asking the question

Are You good enough and do you really want this?

Its easy to say yes, but the fact is this is a much bigger challange than I could ever imagined, all those months ago when I got accepted into the event.

Funny Moment Of The Day

Jim Meta wearing a thong in the treatment room as it was ladies day, Jim you are a leg-end!

Hero Of The Day

Davey, had the run from hell but kept going, arrived just in time for tea and a round of applause from us all. True grit

Worst moment for me today was getting all the way downstairs from my room post marathon, and forgetting something!! I am really starting to get economic with stairs these days you know!

Got to love you and leave you as I have a pint with my name on it, plus I have treatment, which could be a bit painful to say the least.

Till Day Six


If You Would Like To Help Me Raise Money For Brathay Trust Please Use The Link Below

By Lee Boniface, 15 May 2012 – 9 comments

14 May 2012

Slow Running Is Better Than Quick Walking

Today was my 4th marathon of 10, it was a huge struggle, I cant say it was worse for me than many others in the group but what I can say I can only relate this story from my own viewpoint.

Unlucky 13

Though I had started the day feeling a bit low for some reason I got into my run and was doing a steady pace, I was enjoying the lovely views of this course and all seemed well with the world, however at about ten miles I began to be aware of a pain in the side of my right leg (ITB) I have been told by the body rehab team I am strung very tight, a fact born out with some heavy duty treatment with their razor sharp elbows.

Sadly things got worse as I just was coming up to the 13 mile point I had a pain in the side of my leg, that stopped me dead in my tracks, luckily I managed to ease my self back into running. The next 13 miles where to say the least very tough, but I knew many of my team mates where facing bigger challanges and I told myself to man up and get on with it.

I just worked from water stop to the next water stop counting them down, till I hit water stop 12, the last one, the last two miles where I have to say very hard to run, as my right leg just would not move quick enough, it was down to running and short walkes, but the mantra in my head was

A slow run is better than a quick walk

When i

I arrived at the Brathay finish I was glad Martin for once was not there to film, I was shattered and  a wee bit emotional, but Stephen from Body Rehab looked after me and things started to look and feel better.

Onto Day 5

I have had good treatment today, great support from the Brathay team espcially Aly and Mac who really looks after us all so brillaintly.

I would be not telling the truth if i dident tell you I am really concerned about day 5, but I will set out steady and see where it takes me.

When you consider as a group now we have raised in excess of £114,000 for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, going out and running a marathon or two does not seem to be the end of the world really.

Thanks for all your support so far

Lee xx

Want to sponsor me?

By Lee Boniface, 14 May 2012 – 7 comments

12 May 2012

One Step Beyond

Sorry not to have blogged but life in the brathay bubble is very busy. Today's run was my second of ten, for the most part it was a  lonely long run which I am used to, the hills seem to grow each day, it's like someone inflates them overnight.

The team iam with are fantastic, and I would in courage you to read some of the other blogs to get a real flavour of the event.

Iam feeling mentally strong at the moment however I know I have only started. I have begun to think of what will keep me going over the coming days, and it always comes back to the ones you love, it's never about work or some kinda minor thing in our heads that we make a major problem, foe me it always comes back to your relationships with those closest to you, that's what keeps you going each day, or at least that's the case for me.

The next days marathon and beyond is not about running, it's about character, it's about going beyond what you believe is possible, but as Ems would say why do that? Because for me it makes the complicated more simple, when I run you can only focus on so much information at one time and it really focuses your mind and once the basics are dealt with, food, drink, rest etc. for me it comes down to your loved ones which for me are ems, Ellie and Zak and all my wonderful friends.

I just want you to know you are carrying me round with your support

By Lee Boniface, 12 May 2012 – 5 comments

09 May 2012

How Soon Is Now

The last 9 months have been one of the most revealing times of my life, to be quite honest it has reinvigorated me. Events over the past 8 years have left me feeling I had lost who I was, while knowing this is a silly statement, that’s how it felt, I did not know what I stood for anymore, and as they say if you don’t stand for anything you fall for anything. The previous 8 years for me have been about …….

  • Holding on
  • Keeping my head above water
  • Providing
  • Fighting the wolf from the door

Yes I know these are all statements that reveal very little, and that’s intentional, those who know me will know what I am talking about. Those that don’t, lets just say it's been tough, but no tougher than its probably been  for you.

The Arrival Of The 10 In 10

Spring 2011 I had just finished the Brighton marathon, it had been a personal disaster, too hot and under prepared, I swore to my wife that I would never run another marathon again.

Then one evening on Facebook my cousin Neal Dobson, said you have to sponsor my friend Howard Clark he is running 10 marathons in 10 days, I thought it would be rude not to have a look , little did I know my life had made a seismic shift at that time.

I was hooked, on so many levels, from the stunning countryside, the runners pure spirit and the wonderful Brathay trust, I had to Enter….

One problem……

I had only done two marathons and one of those had been a total disaster, some CV!! I was up against people that had done 10, 20 50 and even 100 marathons, I did not just feel worthy of the chance, but something deep inside made me enter, I can't say what it was but 9 months on, my guess is that I had and have a needed to draw a line under certain history I have been dragging around for way too long.

Training To Be A 10 In 10 Warrior

From July 2011 I committed, I was on a journey, and I can say with unabashed pride I have not wavered, in that to fail this challenge, was to leave me in an emotional void I saw little escape from. Rereading that last line I know I am truly heading towards my 50s, but sod it I am proud of who I am and where I come from!

I have run in the dark and in the cold mostly on my own, racking up more than 1000 miles since January 2012 and god knows how much prior to that, and do you know what I have loved it, I have felt more alive and connected than for many years, I have learned more about who I am, some of it pretty obvious to many that know me well, I am a gregarious loner, in that I love people and my own company in equal measure.

I wish I was a good enough writer to convey just what this challenge has delivered to me,  and this is before the actual 10 in 10 2012 its self, god knows what will come out of that!

What I can say whatever the outcome of my personal 10 in 10 it's been worth it, because of what I have learned, the people I have met who have enriched my life and peoples wonderful generosity of spirit that has energized my faith in human nature.

And last and not least the wonderful Brathay Trust, and all the great work it does, I really do go into this challenge contradiction of emotions a very humbled and proud man.

If you wpould lkie to help me raise money for disadvantaged children please go to my just giviing page

By Lee Boniface, 09 May 2012 – 3 comments

05 May 2012

I Have A Dream

“And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:  Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” Martin Luther King, Jr.


Martin Luther Kings speech is one of the most inspiring bits of oratory I have ever heard, I even had it in my car to listen to, for me it's all about leadership, bringing people together. He knew none of us can live in a vacuum, exclude people from the big table of life and you are asking for trouble.

Love it or loathe it we are interconnected the sheer cause and effect of life can be ignored by many, but its consequences come home to roost with what many people, feel is surprising regularity.

But is it that surprising? A divided society will deliver fragmented results, I am a business owner of 20 years I believe in many ways in the capitalist system, in that if you work hard you deserve the fruits of your labour, and as many do not put equal effort, then the idea of equal reward is flawed.

The Starting Line Of Life

However as I got older a nagging feeling has been eating away at me, this is all well and good if we all start at the same place in the race of life, then it would be all about how hard we worked however I know personally I was very privileged to have parents that encouraged my growth as a person, loved me for who I am, I had also grandparents who loved and cherished me.

Especially my late grandmother from Chichester who's  biased towards me was at times was almost embarrassing while at the same time so comforting in that I knew I had someone who supported me a 100% whatever the circumstances, she would have done anything for me and I knew it, and I miss her very much, more than words can say.

Sadly the start line of life is not  equal children have parents that are physically  or mentally absent, giving little or no support, these children grow up distanced from modern society always looking in from the outside, yes they may have a chip on their shoulder but who's there to remove it.

The Toolkit Of Life

My nagging feeling is you have to move kids towards the best start in life you can, after that life is down to your own endeavour, however I have always used the metaphor of the toolkit of life. I feel my toolkit was pretty full time I was 16 years old, did it protect me from huge mistakes in my 30s and forties?- Nope, however it gave me grounding and the rest was up to me- personal responsibility.

The Brathay Trust

The brathay trust gives young people a chance to build their toolkit, and that makes me so very proud to be part of a 18 strong team of people committed to raising money for this wonderful organisation, that gives children a chance to lead a more productive life, which in my opinion is good for them and us all in equal measure.

By Lee Boniface, 05 May 2012 – 1 comments

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