Marathon runner aiming to complete 401 marathons coming to run in Doncaster

Marathon runner Ben Smith.
Marathon runner Ben Smith.

A man aiming to complete a gruelling challenge of 401 marathons in 401 days will take on his latest 26 mile runs in Doncaster this weekend.

Ultra-fit athlete Ben Smith is travelling around the country completing races on a daily basis alongside local runners.

He will arrive in Doncaster tomorrow for runs 137 and 138 in his challenge, taking to the same route on Friday and Saturday.

He will be running with members of Doncaster's newest running club, Danum Harriers. The club may only be three years old but is full of marathon runners who will support Ben in his challenge.

He is setting off from the Sportsman pub on Armthorpe Road and running two 13.1 mile laps each day, setting of at 9:30am.

People are also welcome to go along and cheer on Ben who began his challenge on September 1.

The Bristol-based 33 year old said: "I am undertaking a world record’ attempt which will see me run 401 marathons in 401 consecutive days around 309 different locations of the UK mainland.

"The challenge aims to raise both awareness of the issues of bullying in our society along with £250,000 for two amazing charities dedicated to tackling bullying. The two charities are called ‘Stonewall’ and ‘Kidscape’. Both these charities work tirelessly to support award winning initiatives which really get to the heart of bullying in our UK schools and society in all its forms.

The challenge involves more than 250 running clubs throughout the UK, over 300 qualified therapists and more than 100 schools.

He has taken on the challenge as he was bullied in his youth.

He added: "At the age of 10 I went away to school. I found myself alone and very insecure; it would be fair to say it was a shock to the system and a change I wasn’t completely prepared for, this meant I was an easy target for school bullies unfortunately.

"Over the following 8 years I became more and more reclusive and unsure of myself. I turned from an outgoing and excitable child into a very shy and under confident individual. The daily physical and emotional abuse broke me and unfortunately at the age of 18 I tried to take my own life after suffering a nervous breakdown. Growing up as a teenager is hard enough without having to through mental and physical abuse at the hands of your peers."

"Around three years ago I started running; I got into it as a way of reducing stress in my life. I was overweight, depressed and needed something to focus on. I can’t count the number of times I had watched the Virgin London Marathon on TV and wished I could do something like that. I started with running a few miles and then built this up and completed a few 10K races and then my first half marathon in 2012. The feeling I got from running was a sense of accomplishment I had never felt before, I was hooked. Having never been very good at sport at school you could say I had started from nothing which made the achievement even sweeter."