Friends are jogging in memory of Ben

JOGANUARY: Family and friends of Ben continue his tradition of jogging every day in January to make up for the rest of the year. Picture: John Veage
JOGANUARY: Family and friends of Ben continue his tradition of jogging every day in January to make up for the rest of the year. Picture: John Veage

WHEN Emma Barlow decided she wanted to create a Facebook group to commemorate her late friend Ben Smith, she never expected to receive the support she did.

Ben was widely regarded for his amusing personality but he unexpectedly passed away in May 2017 leaving behind his wife Carla and two kids Archie, eight, and and Tilly five.

Ben started ‘Joganuary’ five years ago to get a years’ worth of running done in the first month of the year.

It became a Facebook trend where he would run 4 km everyday, posting comical photos and stories along the way.

Emma’s page started late last year and has grown to 130 members with over 60 consistently posting their progress each day in memory of Ben.

“The reason Ben started Joganuary was to get a year’s work of running in the first month and be done for the year,” Emma said.

The group comprises of family and friends and has members ranging from the Sutherland Shire to San Francisco in America.

“One of the members in the group created a Spotfiy playlist and we all listen to the music when we jog.”

Ben’s wife and children have persevered through this month and maintained their goal of reaching February having completed each day just like Ben did.  Carla and Emma have organised a group ceremony for Sunday, February 4 in Kirrawee, with awards for one male and female member of the group. 

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