UK marathon man uses childhood bullying experience as fuel for 401-day challenge

One UK runner is in the middle of completing 401 marathons to support children who are victims of bullying.

Ben Smith is one undeniably dedicated runner. There are many in the running community who become known for dreaming up seemingly absurd goals and managing to achieve them despite the fact that many would perceive them to be impossible. Smith is one of these runners and his goal of running 401 marathons in 401 days is no easy task to finish. He’s going for the Guinness World Record for most consecutive marathons run in the process.

As reported by the Daily Record, Smith, the UK runner from Bristol, has been running for four years. It was in September when the 34-year-old started out on the 401 challenge which he created for himself. That puts him at having reached the halfway point of the feat just last week– Smith was running in Glasgow when he hit the 50 per cent mark of completion. He’s now on the home stretch.

But no runner just starts out on a challenge like this one without having an important reason. For Smith, the purpose of taking on a daunting running challenge like this one is one that’s quite personal. He wants to raise awareness for those suffering from bullying while also proving to others that running is a healthy tool for bettering one’s physical and mental well-being. Those who support the challenge will know that all funds raised are going to two prominent charities Kidscape and Stonewall that support children who are targets of bullying.

These are issues which Smith dealt with quite a bit. Growing up, he was bullied as a child. Those experiences led to two suicide attempts reports the article as well as going through bouts of depression as he got older. During his twenties, Smith also struggled with his weight and a poor fitness level. The past four years of running have helped him to reverse some of these issues.

If all goes as planned, Smith will continue to complete a marathon every single day right up to Oct. 5 of this year. He wants to do the final run in his hometown.

He is going to continue to document his runs on his website: www.the401challenge.co.uk. Visit his Instagram to check out photos from his endeavor.

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