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A buggy run and coffee with Jen & Sim Benson

Wendy Rumble

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So one sunny Friday in November I took a trip to Wiltshire to meet the Bensons. Those of you that follow my blogs will know that I interviewed them back in April about their family adventures.

Jen and Sim are writers who have had two books published (Wild Running and Amazing Family Adventures) plus regularly write for Trail Running Magazine plus others.

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There was no formal interview while we were enjoying our pootle around the lanes but I had the chance to ask a few questions and here are the exerts!  

So what have they been working on recently? 

So the last 6 months or so have been spent writing a book of adventures along with the magazine articles, blogging and parenting!  They wanted to go a bit wider than just running and the next book reflects that.

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So how did two such likeminded people meet? 

In a camping shop which Sim worked at and Jen was looking for a temporary job.  A qualified Podiatrist, Jen never gets bored about taking about ruunning and apparently Sim will talk to you about technical kit until the cows come home.

What are they juggling right now?

As parents to Eva and Hugo and most recently the springer spaniel Kelpie, they certainly have their hands full! Being writers means that the normal challenges to fit in exercise is reduced. They take a morning or afternoon slot.  But like all parents of young children there is still a negotiation and some bribes to get them to come out and not just eat chips by the play area.  (Phew that’s not just us then!) 

Whats the most romantic place they have been? 

Brownsea Island off Poole in Dorset. Owned by the National Trust, there are only a few places to stay so it feels very exclusive! 

 Chocolate coins are accepted buggy running tender! 

Chocolate coins are accepted buggy running tender! 

What do they love about their running buggy, the Thule Chariot Cross 2?

Never that interested in buggies, previously opting to carry their children to get where they need to go but they are loving this piece of fabulous kit.  It will go anywhere, can be used as a bike trailer and they even put the dog or a child’s bike in it when needs must!  

What is their guilty pleasure? 

Before I meet them I’m secretly worried at this point that they would suggest some sea kelp or kale broth. However we tucked into Millionaire’s shortbread, brownies and cappuccino’s during our chat so that was a ridiculous misconception.  When asked, Sim suggested it was outstanding quality coffee (confessed coffee snobs) and craft beer.

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What would you say to parents who are stuck inside and can’t find the motivation to get out? 

Don't set high expectations! If you just get to the front lawn and they play there, that’s still great! If you meant to go for a long walk but the kids are loving playing by a river then accept that as a brilliant outing too.  

What is your favourite family on the go snack? 

Kallo chocolate rice cakes always go down well with their family!  

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It’s a funny pastime meeting people who you have only ever seen on social media or in books. As someone with a geeky interest in running as soon as I hear fast times (Jen’s Marathon PB is 3.08) and all the Ultra Marathons and Ironman competitions they have completed then I am in awe. Accompany that with their heaps of knowledge, epic kit and amazing bodies (Jen’s legs seem to go up to her arm pits) it’s easy to be intimidated.  However I can honestly say for every moment I spent with the Bensons I could not have been more at ease.  I could have talked to them for hours and wish I lived round the corner so they could take me on their amazing adventures.  I’m imaging an spur of the moment canoe trips and running through streams... now where’s that Right Move app...?