Run Thin Boy Run: Day 9 Disaster Day 10 Joy

By Lee Boniface, 22 May 2012 – 11 comments

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!


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  • Beth clegg

    22 May 2012, 10.50pm

    oh my goodness, I'm glad I've seen you before I read that just so I know you are actually ok (ish) physically and mentally! You did so well and you have done a brilliant job of blogging about your experiences. Without wanting to sound too 'soppy', it's heartwarming to hear of all the acts of kindness that helped you so much during day 9. I've said it before and I'll no doubt say it again- we're very proud of you- you are an inspiration. I'll certainly keep thoughts of your efforts with me through my year. Much love x x

  • Howard Clark

    23 May 2012, 8.38am

    Lee, what you have achieved is immense and you had to go through hell and beyond to attain it. You should rightfully be very proud of yourself especially after the depths of day 9. I'm so pleased that the small contribution I made of running with you at the end of that marathon and helping with your bottles and nutrition for day 10 meant you had the necessary attention and time to eat, drink and recover for the joy and jubilation of crossing that line after 262 miles of torture, pain, anguish, blood, sweat and tears. Welcome to the exclusive club of Brathay 10 in 10 warriors

  • Penny Moreton

    23 May 2012, 8.48am

    Congratulations Lee on that monumental effort mentally and physically, these memories will stay with you for ever - you deserve to feel proud of all your ups and downs there are only certain people who can complete this awesome challenge and those are the ones with the biggest heart and courage - and you my son has graduated to join the 10 in 10 family in style - well done - hope our paths cross again somewhere sometime - take care and recover well xx

  • Gabi Barrett

    23 May 2012, 1.01pm

    Congratulations, Lee

    I am absolutely blown away by the bravery and inner strength that you have shown

    Big WOW!

    Well done

    Gabi xx

  • Keith

    23 May 2012, 1.02pm


    What a 48 hours to end an incredible ten days and I was honoured to be able to share it with you.

    Was immensly impressed by the way you attacked this challenge - quieter than some - but with a steely determination to get through that carried you through that Day 9 blip.

    Some fantastic running mixed in with some true grit - that makes you a real Ten in ten'er well done!


  • Steve Edwards

    23 May 2012, 1.48pm

    Lee, huge respect for what you have achieved given the way day 9 went for you. There aren't many people who will ever know what you really went through that day and how you kept yourself going to the end I'll never know. But you did and the rest as they say is history. Many congratulations and welcome to club.

  • Matt

    23 May 2012, 5.27pm

    Great blog. Great guts (particularly when well fed). Great man.

  • Foxy

    23 May 2012, 8.29pm

    an honour to spend 10 days with you - a great runner, true gentleman & as proved on day 9 harder than nails - a great addition to the 10 in 10 club - welcome in number 50 :)

  • Lee

    23 May 2012, 9.01pm

    Thanks all for the lovely comments, it's been a real journey. One I will never forget, and if I do, I will have to do it again

  • wona

    23 May 2012, 10.36pm

    Congratulations Lee..great strength of character. :)

  • Mike Clark

    24 May 2012, 1.45pm

    Great blog Lee, having supported the 2011 TiTs and witnesses many comebacks, yours really did stretch the experience to the limit. Well done, now lie on your back and watch the air-show this weekend.

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