Fitness: Resolutions flagging? Here's some inspo

Novelty of your New Year regime wearing off? Be inspired by super-human feats, sign up for a goal event, and do it all in style. . .


Marathon man Ben Blowes (43896194)
Marathon man Ben Blowes (43896194)

While many of us were mainlining mincepies and swigging sherry over Christmas, Ben Blowes was busy running 31 marathons in 31 days. The 48-year-old dad of two from Gazeley – who famously completed the London Marathon with a tumble dryer on his back – took on the awesome feat to raise money for children’s brain tumour charity Tom’s Trust. Each marathon was dedicated to a child who had been helped by the charity – hence the event title: 31 Stars.

Guinness World Record Holder Ben, who ran iconic routes around Cambridge, Suffolk and Milton Keynes, set himself a target of raising £31,000 – to raise enough funds for Tom’s Trust to provide a full year of psychological care for 31 vulnerable children suffering with brain tumours. However, he smashed that target, raising over £156,000.

Said to be ‘relieved’ to finish the gruelling challenge, Ben enthused: “I am so proud to support the Tom’s Trust children. After meeting Deborah Whiteley (the charity's founder) a few years ago and hearing her talk about her son Tom and the changes that she wanted to make in his name, I knew that I had to do something to help.”

Find out more at


SOULUXE Womens (43896202)
SOULUXE Womens (43896202)

If you clocked up the miles on the road, bike, or rower, tackling RED January (a pledge to run – or be active - every day), then we salute you – and suggest you reward yourself with flashy new workout togs. Matalan’s Souluxe sportswear range features performance pieces, which are stylish, and (at a time when money is tight for many) won’t break the bank. We think this striking monochrome set will keep out the elements for alfresco exercise, and put a spring in your step.

Souluxe top, £10, leggings, £14, at


Picture: Keith Heppell (43896209)
Picture: Keith Heppell (43896209)

The Oxford-Cambridge University Boat Race is coming home – to the Great Ouse to be precise! With continuing Covid-19 restrictions, the decision has been made to hold the 166th Men's Boat Race and the 75th Women's Boat Race behind closed doors, in Ely on Sunday, April 4.

Organisers, The Boat Race Company Limited (BRCL), are encouraging the millions of Boat Race fans to follow the exhilarating event, which will be televised on BBC1, from home. “In the more intimate setting of the Great Ouse, there are exciting new possibilities for safely filming the event and we will be bringing you closer to the action, on and off the water,” says Dr George Gilbert, Chair of BRCL’s Race and Operations Committee.

So, will the Light Blues row to victory, clinching their third win in a row? Tune in on Easter Sunday to find out!

Find the most recent updates at


Passionate about promoting wellness and self-care for all, Sara Ford and Alice Loombe – owners of Ely’s new wellbeing and fitness studio, FRESH - are offering live streamed and ‘on demand’ classes. The dance professionals officially launched their studio – a nurturing and safe environment to work out – back in December, offering classes including Pilates, Dance, Yoga, HIIT, Meditation, Kickboxing, and Primal Flow. However, as lockdown restrictions kicked in, Sara and Alice ensured their services included an array of live-streamed classes by professional instructors, including Chasamba Fitness, Commercial, Bounce and Barre, plus an ‘on demand’ option for those with busy schedules.

Sara and Alice, who were awarded community asset funding by Sport England for their venture, are keen to support mental health, promote equality, practice sustainability, create community, and encourage health, relaxation and wellbeing.

FRESH is also home to Beanies vegan café, offering delicious coffee and vegan cakes. We recommend the rose water infused chocolate truffle slice, dotted with raspberry and dark chocolate segments. . .

FRESH. is at 16-18 Broad Street, Ely. Book classes at


When Professor Bjarne Østerud, of the Arctic University, Tromsø, discovered his family’s genetic predisposition to cardiovascular disease he set out to find a solution. So followed 30 years of research, studying the traditional diet of the Inuit of the Arctic (as they enjoyed such low levels of the debilitating heart condition). Discovering the adverse effects of oxidation on omega-3 oils, the Professor’s team were able to create a unique formulation, combining North Atlantic Herring, with Organic Extra Virgin Oil, plus Vitamin D3 and DPA – to create a top-standard omega-3 supplement.

Created in Norway, but based in Saffron Walden, OG Omega-3 Plus are said to boost mood and brain function, improve heart health and vision, help balance hormones and reduce inflammation in pregnancy and menopause, as well as promoting great hair, skin and nails. We’re sold.

Sustainable and plastic-free, the supplements are available in gels or oil, at £39.99, or via a monthly subscription. Shop at


Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon 2020. Picture: Keith Heppell (43896196)
Saucony Cambridge Half Marathon 2020. Picture: Keith Heppell (43896196)

Looking for a 2021 fitness challenge? Well, pop the weekend of October 16-17 in your diary, and get pounding the streets in preparation for The Cambridge Festival of Running.

Cambridge Half Marathon, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2021, has formed a partnership with the MDUK Town & Gown 10K - also celebrating a decade in existence this year - with both runs set to take place that weekend.

So, whilst the Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) Town and Gown 10K and Junior 3K will set off on Saturday, October 16, runners will line up for the TTP Cambridge Half Marathon, the next day.

Cambridge Half Marathon’s new title partner for this and the next two years is Cambridgeshire-based independent technology company, TTP – The Technology Partnership.

If October feels a bit far off, you can take part in ‘Run Everyone’, Cambridge’s biggest event in March. Whether a first-time runner or seasoned athlete, you can sign up your business, choose your charity and invite people to join your team, and run one day or every day. Participants will receive a t-shirt, medal – and your team might even get to the top of the leaderboard.

Find out more about all these events at

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