Ben Smith | 2016 Finalist

Running to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds and inspire others.


Setting off in September 2015, Smith ran 401 marathons in 401 days to raise more than £307k for Stonewall and Kidscape, two charities which place fighting bullying at their heart.

Running the marathons in 309 different locations around the UK, Smith was running with the aim of involving and inspiring as many young people to take up running - and preferably run with him - as possible.

He decided to tackle the challenge after suffering from bullying for eight years from the age of 10 onwards. It left him, in his own words, ‘reclusive and unsure of himself’. At the age of 18 he attempted to take his own life as a result of a mental breakdown. At 31, Smith came out as gay - a move which completely transformed his life and, ultimately, led to him taking up running as a way of tackling and releasing stress.

After running 30 marathons in two years, the idea of tackling 401 in 401 days was born. “The 401 Challenge isn’t about being a victim, the challenge is about showing people that no matter what you go through growing up there can always be a positive outcome if you want there to be,” he says.

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