Ben Tye

The fat one

I’m 37 years old, I drink a bit too much, I definitely eat a bit too much and I love nothing more than to be doing the opposite of whatever I’m actually meant to be doing!


In terms of fitness prior to doing some great events with Dan for Sands I had completed a road cycle ride from London to Brighton and London to Paris. Running has never been my forte, on a football pitch I’m someone who’s ‘got a good engine’ roughly translated this means I run a lot but I’m not very good. Whilst I love running on the football field, the very idea of running off of it fills me with dread. So you can imagine how I felt when Dan told me what he wants to do for our latest challenge!

I’ll open with the history bit, I’ve known Dan since I was 13 years old. I’d just moved to Dunstable from Plymouth and had been assigned a ‘friend’ who guided me through my first few daunting days at my new school.

After school my guide Christopher took me to meet a lad who hadn’t been at school because he had a broken leg, this kid (Dan) had an Amiga 2000 (Which was a massive deal at that point – the only games console in my house was my Dad’s Atari ST) and loads of great games! I spent most of my free time that year at his house and the rest as they say is history.

Our friendship continued into adult life, watching Luton, drinking and playing football filled our weekends for years.

One day back in 2004 the worst happened, Dan’s first child, was born sleeping and so a new chapter of our friendship was born.

It all started soon after Ruby was born, Dan needed something to channel his feelings into and one of those somethings was running. In the early days I helped him train for 10k runs by either running with him or joining him on my bike and keeping him company while he ran.

After that the plans started to get bigger and bigger, we’ve played in 2 5-a-side tournaments at the Emirates raising thousands of pounds for Sands UK in the process2 years ago we unofficially broke the world record for the longest game of 5-a-side football (4 and a half days), last year I completed the Ride London (100 mile) event and this year…. Well this year we’re running the length of the Grand Union Canal.

The Grand Story

This goes back to our World Record attempt, initially we were aiming for an 11-a-side football match. Unfortunately due to an alarming amount of late drop outs we had to reassess what we would be able to achieve, at one point it looked as though even a 5-a-side event wouldn’t be possible. So as a contingency (not wanting to waste our training efforts) Dan and I started looking around for alternative things we could do in case our record attempt fell through.

Now, I’m not a man who lives in the past or even has any regrets. What has happened has happened and it’s got me here and I’m pretty damned happy. However, this idea I came up with will most likely haunt me for the rest of my life. For it was I who found an event called the Grand Union Canal run and was stupid enough to mention this idea to Dan…. He was hooked instantly! Fortunately for me our 5-a-side event went ahead and I thought that was the end of it…. 

I was wrong

Last but not least


My Amazing Wife! The third member of our little trio taking on this frankly absurd task. She has been an amazing supporter of my training for these events, she’s ferried trainers, boots and food to me in various locations and she’s even applied cooling gel to my feet during the record attempt!

So this time she’s decided that it’s her turn to get in on the action and I must say I couldn’t be more proud. 2 years or so ago I pushed her around her first 10k event which we finished in under 60 minutes, fast forward to today she was dragging me around a 22k run after she had completed a half marathon the day before!