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North-east man to run 401 marathons across UK

Ben Smith at Murrayfield during his challenge.
Ben Smith at Murrayfield during his challenge.

A former Boddam man has set himself an extraordinary challenge of running hundreds of marathons for charity.

Ben Smith plans to undertake 401 marathons in as many days, in 309 different towns and cities across the UK.

The 33-year-old started the challenge last September in Bristol, where he now lives, and will run his 287th marathon in Fraserburgh later this month.

He is raising money to combat bullying within schools for charities Kidscape and Stonewall.

Mr Smith, who only began running three years ago, said he was overweight and depressed when he first put on his trainers.

He added: “I started 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 which I had never felt before – I was hooked.

“Having never been very good in sport at school, you could say I started from nothing which made the achievement even sweeter.

“I’m extremely lucky to have such amazing sponsors, friends and family members that believe in what we are trying to achieve, and I couldn’t do it without them.”

Following his marathon in Fraserburgh, Mr Smith will participate in events in Peterhead, Ellon and Stonehaven before moving on to Montrose and Arbroath.

He hopes to raise £250,000 by the time his journey is complete.

Stonewall campaigns to eliminate homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in communities across the UK.

Kidscape, meanwhile, promotes work to protect children from bullying and abuse, and operates directly with people as young as nine through to parents, carers and those in professional contact with children.

So far, the 401 Challenge has raised £96,000.

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