After Being Bullied For Being Gay, Ben Smith Is Running 401 Marathons In 401 Days To Raise Money For Anti-Bullying Charity

How does that inspirational quote go? “It’s not how many times you get knocked down that count, it’s how many times you get back up.” There are different variations of it, but the basic message remains the same. You are going to get knocked down in life, but staying down on the ground and feeling sorry for yourself shouldn’t be your response.

Instead, we should all take notes from Ben Smith. On September 1, 2015, he started an insane challenge. His plan? To run 401 marathons in 401 consecutive days around 309 different locations of the UK.

Why would he attempt such a crazy thing? To raise £250,000 for two anti-bullying charities: Stonewall and Kidscape. The mission is important to Smith because he suffered bullying when he was younger because he was gay.

“Bullying was very mental. It was quite physical, as well. I was beaten up. And that turned towards an attack on my sexuality. And I didn’t know I was gay at that time, but when I figured it out, I was scared. The bullying got so bad when I was in school, that at the age of 18, I tried to take my own life.”

But thankfully he wasn’t successful, and he learned to love himself. After a few health scares in his late 20s, Smith knew he needed to make another change, so he decided to join his buddy’s running club. He fell in love with it and eventually it became less about physical health and more about mental health.

“I thought, let’s raise some money for two anti-bullying charities. It just seemed like two perfect things to put together…to make what’s happening now. “

So far, Smith has completed 260 marathons and has traveled over 6812 miles. Most important, he’s already raised close to £100,000 for the two charities. There is still more work that needs to be done, but he’s certainly off to a great start.

We wish him all the best! If you’d like to follow his journey and donate, click on this link to his website.

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Screengrab via: Youtube

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