Brave Benny inspires marathon for charity
- Credit: Supplied by the family
About a year has passed since six-year-old Benny Pitcher lost his battle with cancer - but he lives on in the hearts of everyone who loved him.
Now Benny's dad Kevin, from East Runton, and a group of others are planning to run a marathon around north Norfolk in his memory and raise at least £10,000 for good causes.
Mr Pitcher said he and Benny's mum Julie were also setting up a new charity to be called Benny's Battalion, which would support other families with children who have cancer.
Mr Pitcher said the August 8 run would start outside Sheringham Primary School at 9am and finish outside the Crown pub on Lifeboat Plain around 3pm, and a firework will be let off over the sea that evening.
He said: "We could curl up into a ball and hide from the world or just keep going - there's no in-between.
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"We were originally going to run the Brighton Marathon for Benny, but it got put back because of Covid. We're going ahead with the marathon, we see it as keeping our promise to Benny and the public who have done so much for us."
The community rallied around Benny and his family while he was receiving treatment, raising thousands of pounds to benefit him.
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Mr Pitcher said he and fellow runner Ben Letzer would be carrying Benny's Iron Man and The Hulk radiotherapy masks - his two favourite superheroes.
Mr Pitcher said he hoped it would be something to celebrate in Sheringham and go some way to make up for the town's summer carnival being cancelled due to pandemic.
He said: "If you are out and about along the route please offer your support and encouragement to the runners. Wear bright colours, wave coloured flags or wear your superhero outfit in his memory."
Mr Pitcher said there would be about 40 people taking part in the run - including North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker. Some are aiming to complete the full marathon length of 26 miles, while others will aim to run a half-marathon or shorter distances. The route first goes to Cromer before heading inland and across to High Kelling before returning to Sheringham.
Benny was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, for which there is no cure, in March 2019.
To donate to the fundraiser, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/bennyspoppylinemarathon