Builder to complete 10 marathon challenge in mate’s memory

Barry Coulter, from Hartlepool, is running 10 marathons in 10 months in memory of friend Kevin Bennett, who died at the start of the year. Picture: TOM BANKS
Barry Coulter, from Hartlepool, is running 10 marathons in 10 months in memory of friend Kevin Bennett, who died at the start of the year. Picture: TOM BANKS

A building boss aims to get 10 out of 10 as he completes in a series of marathons in his friend’s name.

Barry Coulter has set out to finish off the series of 26.5mile races this year in memory of dad-of-four Kevin Bennett, who died in February after he was diagnosed with lung cancer, which spread to his brain.

Kevin Bennett, pictured right, with friends Sean Wintersgill, Barry Coulter and Timmy Coulter, from left.

Kevin Bennett, pictured right, with friends Sean Wintersgill, Barry Coulter and Timmy Coulter, from left.

Roofer Kevin, 50, known as Ben Ben, lived on the Central Estate and was his mate since junior school, as well as being good friends with Barry’s brother Timmy, also 50.

So far he has finished marathons in Manchester, Edinburgh, one as part of the Hardmoors series, one through Dalby Forest, Halifax and Blackpool.

He will take part in the Carver Wolverhampton Marathon this Sunday, with another in Hull in three weeks time, before flying out to join in the New York Marathon, before the final run as part another of the Hardmoor runs, all in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Barry, a member of the Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers, said: “The idea was that the date of the New York Marathon was coming up and I wanted to do it again, so then it just built up to the 10 and it evolved from there.

I thought I would do it for Kevin and when it’s getting really hard, thinking about that pushes me on.

Barry Coulter

“I thought I would do it for Kevin and when it’s getting really hard, thinking about that pushes me on.

“I think he would be behind me and he would have been the first one I went to for sponsorship.

Barry, a director of Coulter Smith Construction, is being backed by partner Kelly Bainbridge, 35, his sons Joe, 14, and Sam, 12, and Kelly’s children Jacob Bainbridge, 15, and Connor Bainbridge, 14.

The 49-year-old added: “Given that I have ran ultra marathons, this year has been tough physically.

“Every race I have had an injury and some have been cross country, but I know it’s for a great cause.

“I choose Macmillan Cancer Support after seeing the amazing work they do to support families through cancer.

“We aim to £2,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support, but most importantly, we aim to increase awareness that men’s health matters.

“We generally don’t go to the doctor when we need to and don’t get picked up early enough when something can still be done to help prevent, diagnose or treat cancer.

“It’s really important we look after ourselves and get checked.”

Barry can be sponsored via https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/barry-coulter1 or text donations can be made via the code BCNY69 to 70070.