Bourne Cricket Club's Josh Bentley and Jordan Temple will be taking part in this year's London Marathon
Bourne Cricket Club’s Josh Bentley is aiming to tackle his maiden London Marathon while raising awareness for a charity which has helped him over the past 18 months.
He is taking on the 26.2-mile capital challenge in October for the first time and will be representing the mental health charity Mind.
Josh – who also captained Uffington in the Rutland Sunday League last season – has been inspired to undertake the challenge by the previous marathon efforts of friends and family as well as the passing of popular cricketer Mark Richardson in 2018.
Josh explained: “I have had many friends run in the London Marathon over the last few years.
“In 2019, my eldest brother ran the London Marathon for an incredible charity.
“I went to watch and was completely inspired by the whole spectacle - seeing 40,000 people push themselves in the memory of family, friends and to raise money for incredible charities.
“I will be representing and raising money for Mind, the mental health charity, because nobody should have to face a mental health problem alone.
“Mind are an amazing charity who listen, provide support and advice and will fight your corner.
“The world lost an incredible character in 2018 and a dear friend in Mark after a battle with mental health. He was taken from us far too soon.
“He was an amazing, adventurous, caring, excitable person who would do anything for anyone.
“Mark took part in the 2017 London Marathon, one of many challenges he achieved in his life, and I am sure everyone luckily enough to have known him will agree he brought joy to your life and is sorely missed.”
The Mind charity has been also been of great benefit during the past 18 months to Josh who only recently discovered a passion for running.
His Abbey Lawn team-mates have also formed the Jolly Boccas Outing during lockdown which has seen the club tackle numerous running challenges while raising money for charity.
Josh continued: “In the last 18 months, I have also faced my own mental health battles, suffering with depression and anxiety.
“Opening up and speaking about this is difficult, but it certainly makes the difference.
“I am grateful for my friends and family who have and are still helping me through this time. Without them, this would be a different story.
“It is incredibly difficult opening up and talking about your battles but is so important.
“I have used Mind on a number of occasions and having someone on the end of the phone listening and giving you support is so underestimated.
“The work they do really does save lives and any donations will help those suffering with mental health issues.
“I have learned that these battles may never go away, but raising awareness and sharing issues can be the difference in managing these.
“Running has also helped me because 18 months ago I couldn't have thought of much worse.
“When I was struggling most, I found reading and podcasts a saving grace and I came across a book called Jog On: How Running Saved My Life, written by Bella Mackie.
“This book inspired me to head out running and it instantly helped my mental state.
“This, combined with the running club set up by Bourne Cricket Club, has kept me running through this pandemic. It started with a 5k and I now find myself preparing for a marathon.”
Anyone wishing to sponsor Josh in his marathon effort can visit his fundraising page here
The loss of a close friend will be the inspiration for Bourne Cricket Club's Jordan Temple when he runs the London Marathon this year.
The Abbey Lawn opening batsman has received a coveted place in the capital event after previous unsuccessful applications.
Jordan will be running to raise money for the Children With Cancer charity following the passing in 2019 of Conor Murphy.
He explained: "Cancer takes so many lives every day and, when it’s someone’s child, a friend or family member of a young age it adds that little bit more perspective and importance of why this needs to be tackled further.
"I lost a close friend in Conor from cancer. He had Ewing’s Sarcoma and, although he fought hard to overcome his illness, after a long three-and-a-half years he unfortunately passed away.
"Throughout his late teens his life was limited due to his illness, but not a day went by when he wasn’t positive about everything possible.
"At the end of 2018 and in early 2019, myself and the boys would do anything to try and comfort Conor and to see him as much as possible.
"While we all knew that the cancer was terminal and was out of our hands, we needed to remain positive and keep his spirits up.
"Unfortunately his battle came to an end in February 2019 and since then I’ve always wanted to give back where and when I could. Running the London Marathon is a great way to do that."
Jordan has also been part of Bourne Cricket Club's Jolly Boccas Outing during the lockdowns which has helped with his marathon preparations.
He added: "My running has only kicked off properly in the last 18 months.
"I found going out walking and running a great way to just forget everything while getting good exercise.
"Since the first lockdown, a lot of the lads at Bourne Cricket Club have got together to create a running club and throughout the pandemic this has been a great way to still be engaged socially and also to keep fit.
"It started off by just blasting around 30 minutes every Saturday and now I am signed up and running the marathon."
Anyone wishing to sponsor Jordan can visit his fundraising page here