Runner inspired by his wife, a SLaM therapist, to fundraise for Maudsley Charity

Ben was inspired by his wife, a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist at SLaM, to complete the 4 x 4 x 48 challenge to raise money for Maudsley Charity

4 minute read

Ben decided to fundraise for the Maudsley Charity after his wife, who is a Cognitive Behavioral therapist for South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM), changed his awareness of mental health and stigma.

In March 2021, he completed the ‘4 x 4 x 48’ challenge, in which he ran 4 miles every 4 hours for 48 hours, and has so far raised over £1,600.

Ben said: “Over the years my wife has educated and improved my awareness of mental health. Through her breaking it down this has removed many of the unhelpful notions and stigmas around the subject in my mind.

I also find that physical activity, training and sport is my best tool for maintaining good mental health. For me the mental benefits often outweigh the physical. Regular activity and the imposed ‘struggle’ keep me positive and on an even keel.”

Opening up a conversation around mental health

Ben’s original fundraising target was £250, but he’s found that his friends and family have been overwhelmingly supportive of the cause. As a result, he’s not only raised more than his target, but also had an impact on their views of mental health.

He said: “I think one of the best and most surprising aspects of undertaking the challenge, is that it opened up the conversation in our social circle, of mental health and peoples struggles, especially within the last year.

Ben fundraiser

4 x 4 x 48 – a mental and physical challenge

The 4 x 4 x 48 challenge is an annual event set up in 2020 by David Goggins, a retired Navy SEAL, and this year started at 8pm on 5th March. It is deceptively simple and requires a huge amount of endurance, willpower and resilience.

“The event was in equal parts one of the hardest but most rewarding challenges I’ve undertaken. The obvious physical struggle of the task is totally surpassed by the mental aspects.

The mix of sleep deprivation, hydration, calories not to mention chafing made it 48 hours of delirium. However, I think I secretly loved every second of it.”

Some memorable highlights..

He continued: “The memorable struggles included being chased by a fox at 2:30am and not really being able to enjoy the 10,000+ calories!

On the final leg I wore a 10kg weighted vest, as I thought the heavy weight on your shoulders was a good metaphor for dealing with mental health problems – when you feel you just can’t get rid of that weight of the world on top of you.”

Thank you Ben!

We’d like to say a huge thank you to Ben and all his supporters, especially his wife and six month old son Seb, who were there to cheer him on throughout.

Fundraising run