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Lord Lawson of Beamish

by Val Baxter

January 8, 2015

400:400 challenge – help required!

My name is Ben Smith, I am 32 years old and currently live in Portishead just outside of Bristol. Come the 1st September 2015 I will be undertaking one of the biggest challenges of my life which will see me run 400 marathons in 400 consecutive days all around the UK. I will be doing this not only as a personal challenge for me but also to raise £250,000 for ‘Ditch the Label’, the UK’s biggest anti bullying charity based in Brighton (

The 400 marathons will take me to 309 different locations throughout the UK spanning from Lands End all the way to John O Groats and will feature a mixture of organised national marathons including London, Brighton, Bournemouth x 2, Liverpool, Isle of Wright, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Edinburgh. The remaining marathons will take place in towns and cities throughout the UK and will consist of 26.2 mile routes which will be open to anyone wanting to join me from the local area including your club, Im sure you can guess by now this is where I really need your help and expertise of the local area and as the main running club in the area below. I was wondering if you would be so kind to help me plan a 26.2 mile route which can be featured on my website and which I will follow on the day below?

Marathon 184 —– Wednesday —– 02 March 2016 —– Gateshead

This project has been a year in the planning, both myself and ‘Ditch the Label’ are working closely on a national and local media campaign which we hope to launch three months before the start of the project along with a social media strategy to help bring awareness of this challenge through use of Facebook, Twitter and the 400:400 challenge website. Ditch the Label work closely with schools and colleges throughout the country tackling attitudes and opinions towards bullying, I will be visiting schools and colleges in each area during term time to give interactive presentation on bespoke issues each school and college face when it comes to bullying along with providing branded merchandising packs to each school so they are able to fundraise and build awareness around this project and simply get involved.

I was bullied at school for 8 years of my life and this affected me all the way into my adult life and it has only been in the past year I have come to terms with what happened to me. The main objective of this project is not only to raise awareness of bullying but show that positive things can come out of the worst situations. Running for me has been a way to help build my confidence and self esteem, meet some very likeminded people and explore the world. I have just completed stage 1 of my training which saw me run 18 marathons this years all around the world, the people I have met, the stories I have heard and the experiences I have had have all given me the confidence and strength to move to stage 2 which will begin in February next year and then move on the to the major challenge which will start on 1st September 2015.

You can find additonal information and updates on the progress of this challenge by visiting my facebook page and twitter feed at the following links. Facebook: 400:400 challenge Twitter: @400400challenge

I would really like to involve your club in this journey, even if its just helping to supply a route for the day or getting some of your runners to join me for the marathon in your area.

If you would like further details on this project or simply have any questions please contact me (via the links given above) and I can answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Kind regards

Ben Smith

400:400 challenge in conjunction with Ditch the Label.

Posted in events 3 years ago Permalink


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