Meet Ben Smith, a 34 year old marathoner. Ben has done something phenomenal over the past year. He has run in various marathons to raise awareness for young people who are unfairly targeted by bullies for being LGBT. Ben himself is gay and was subject to rampant abuse during his school-going days. He attributes a mini-stroke he suffered at the age of 29 to the incessant bullying.
A friend challenged him to join a running club to help raise awareness about the predicament of young people who are subjected to homophobic stigmatization.
He realized that as well as improving his mental and physical stature, this exercise could raise awareness as well as much needed funds for foundations that support this cause.
His charities of choice are Stonewall and Kidscape.
So far he has run a staggering 10,506.2 miles since September 1, 2015 as part of his 401 marathons target. To put the sheer magnitude of that milestone into perspective, that distance is the equivalent of running from London to Sydney in Australia.
He is encouraging you to join him by signing up to #Marathon401 and join the more than 8000 people who have joined him on his journey.
“A key objective of The 401 Challenge has been to involve as many people as possible and create opportunities for children, young people and adults to discuss the difficult topics of bullying and sexuality.”
Smith has raised more than £160,000 so far but is still off his target of £250,000.
“I am proud of the amount of money we have raised so far for Kidscape and Stonewall and am fully confident we will raise the £250,000 we set out to achieve at the beginning of the challenge.”
You can join him and help him achieve his goal by running with him from October 2nd to October 9th and get awarded with a medal for your troubles.