#whywerun - Ben Butterworth
Ben is a Police Officer from Manchester in the UK. After taking up running three years ago he has been passionate about making the sport as inclusive as possible which is what we're all about.
In this time, Ben founded a running club in his hometown that went on to become England Athletics affiliated, before moving onto pastures new by creating It’s All Good Run Crew. It’s All Good focuses on welcoming people from all backgrounds regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. Their mantra is “just turn up” where the ethos is to spread good vibes and run together every step of the way.
In less than a year It’s All Good have had over 40 different faces from the local area join them. Since forming, many new friendships have flourished and crew members have gone on to run their first half marathons and marathons.. We were lucky enough to have Ben contribute to our blog and share some of his story..
"Comparison is the thief of joy. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.
There is nothing wrong with occasionally comparing yourself to another runner or being invested in a little healthy competition. If they’re wearing a nice running jacket or a dapper looking Fractel cap and you think “that looks good”, I’ll be honest with you, that isn’t a bad thing. If a local runner has beaten your 6 month FKT and you want it back, go for it and reap the rewards and feel the euphoria.
Wanting to look and feel better, physically and mentally is one of many reasons why we run. It’s why we don’t want to stop running.
A sensible balance in all aspects of life is essential, even when you compare yourself to what others have, or who they are. As a runner, this can lead to high expectations that can lead to Imposter Syndrome or cause many who are new to the sport to give it up altogether. If you’re lucky and it doesn’t put you off, it will eventually suck all the happiness out of running.
My advice is this: be inspired by others, but don’t aspire to be them. We are all beautifully individual; even as runners.
Be inspired to head out for an early morning jaunt after seeing your neighbour return from their run at a time you used to only see when you were returning home from a night out.
Be inspired to put on your trail shoes and climb up several hundred metres of hills after watching a YouTube video of Damien Hall taking on the full length of the Pennine Way.
Be inspired to run through adversity and overcome major injuries after reading the success Fiona Oakes has achieved by becoming the fastest woman to run a marathon on every continent and the North Pole.
Be inspired to sign up for your first 10k race after seeing someone else’s journey unfold on social media. That same person who prior to running their first 10k wouldn’t dream of jogging for a bus if they were running late for work – pun completely intentional.
Don’t become hung up about not hitting out personal bests regularly or how sweaty you look on your post-run selfie. It’s not crucial you go out running most days, race the clock on every run or have to look a particular way to fit in. What is crucial is you simply run to feel joy.
Make it non-negotiable that you will celebrate your efforts on every run you take on; no matter the effort you put in. Celebrate other runners accomplishments no matter how big or small they are, and throw around kindness like wedding confetti.
Running is for anyone who lifts up their left foot, then their right and repeats that movement. It’s the best piece of advice I received from a good friend of mine called Chris when I first found myself become immersed in the sport of running;
You can find Ben on Instagram here.