Meet Ben Smith, breaking down barriers through running

Ben Smith completing his challenge

Ben  Smith  completed the  401  Challenge  between  1  September  2015 and  5  October  2016.  Bristolian  Ben  Smith  completed 401 marathons in 401  days.

Overcoming  a  fractured  back  (among  other  physical  challenges)  he  ran  10,506.2  miles (the  same  distance  from  London  to  Sydney) and  visited  309  different  locations  on  the  UK mainland.

On completing this impressive journey Ben raised over  £315,000  for  two  amazing  charities, Kidscape  and  Stonewall, who are  dedicated  to  tackling  bullying  –  something Ben experience firsthand  throughout  his  early  life.  

 After  8  years  of  bullying  at  school  for  being  gay,  Ben  had  attempted  to  take  his  own life  twice  by  the  age  of  21.  He  endured  mental  health  issues  throughout  his  20s,  before  finally  suffering  a  TIA  (Transient  Ischemic  Attack),  otherwiseknown  as  an  incomplete  stroke.  This  led  Ben  to  sit  up  and  make  a  change  -  he  needed  to  find  out  what  made  him  happy  in  life  -  this  turned  out  to  be  running.  

From  being  unable  to  run  for  a  bus  in  2013,  Ben  completed  his  401-marathon  mission  in 2016.  Garnering  lots  of  local,  national  and  international  press  throughout  the  project, visiting  over  100  schools  and  inspiring  thousands  of  people  to  do  things  they  never thought  were  personally  possible. Come  and  hear  this  incredible  story  from  the  man himself  at  the  Top  of  the  Gorge  Festival.

Find out more about Ben at: www.the401challenge.co.uk and follow his journey on Twitter: twitter.com/the401challenge