Marathon man ready to run in Ellon

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A man who has set himself the challenge of running 401 marathons across the UK will visit Ellon next weekend.

Ben Smith started the challenge on September 1 down in Bristol and will run his 285th marathon in Ellon on Saturday, June 11.

This won’t be the 33-year-old’s first time in the north east as he lived in Boddam for around three years when he was 12, so he is looking forward to seeing the area again.

Ben is taking on the 401 Challenge to raise money for two charities that aim to combat bullying within schools and society.

He has set a target to raise £250,000 to spit between Kidscape and Stonewall.

His tour of the UK will see Ben carry out a 26.2 mile run in Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Stonehaven in the north east before heading south to Montrose and Arbroath.

The 401 Challenge is also a ‘World Record’ attempt as it will see Ben run 401 marathons in 309 different locations across the UK.

Ben said: “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 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.”

Ben added: “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.”

For more information on Ben’s epic 401 Challenge visit www.the401challenge.co.uk, follow him on Twitter @the401challenge or track his progress on Facebook by searching for The 401 Challenge page.