Cheer on 401 marathon runner Ben through town and at Grantham schools today

Ben Smith with Paul Davidson of Grantham Running Club, who helped to organise the Grantham leg.
Ben Smith with Paul Davidson of Grantham Running Club, who helped to organise the Grantham leg.
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An inspirational man who has set himself the challenge of running 401 marathons in 401 days, will team up with local children and schools across Grantham today to complete his 247th marathon.

Ben Smith, who only ran his first marathon three years ago, will kick-start the 26.2 mile route at 10am at The Meres Leisure Centre Stadium, where local youngsters are being offered the chance to join him on the track.

Timetable for Ben's marathon run through Grantham.

Timetable for Ben's marathon run through Grantham.

He will then head off on his marathon visiting 19 schools along the way including St John’s, Walton Girls, Huntingtower, Little Gonerby, Belton, Lane, Priory Ruskin, Gonerby Hill Foot, Barrowby and Harlaxton before ending back at the Meres (see timetable).

Ben, who was badly bullied at school for years, is hoping to raise more money towards his £250,000 target, for charities Stonewall and Kidscape.

Paul Stokes, SKDC business manager for venues and facilities, said this was a fantastic opportunity for local young athletes to meet this inspirational man and be involved in historic event.

He said: “We would also like to encourage members of the public to go along and support him as he runs day after day with no rest.”

Local sports charity Inspire+ is supporting Ben in his amazing journey to complete 401 marathons in 401 consecutive days. 

Vincent Brittain, Inspire+ chief executive officer, said: “To put this into perspective the current Guinness World Record for consecutive marathons is 53. Ben has well and truly smashed this already! 

“We supported local running clubs in organising his marathon route through Stamford on April 13 and today in and around Grantham.” 

For more information, and to follow Ben as he makes his way through Grantham today with a live tracker, go to 401challengegrantham.yolasite.com

Visit the official 401 Virginmoneygiving page if you want to sponsor Ben, by going to Virgin Money Giving - The 401 Challenge