The 401 Challenge

See below request for info and possible support for an epic charity run…401 marathons in 401 days,……surely we can come up with a route and possibly some support, date is 23rd March, a Wednesday, 9:30 am start


Dear Club Secretary,

My son, Ben Smith (Southville Running Club Bristol), has set himself the challenge of running 401 marathons in 401 consecutive days around the UK.  He started in Bristol on 1 Sep 15 and will be running his 205th marathon in Jamestown/Dumbarton on 23 Mar 16.  He is in Northallerton today on his 172nd marathon in 172 consecutive days.

First thing, he is not seeking free marathon places, sponsorship or money.

As he is not familiar with the area, he was wondering if your club could come up with a marathon distance route for him to run in and/or around the Jamestown/Dumbarton area.  What we are after is below:

A 26.2 mile route. The route can be a full marathon, half marathon (run twice) or looped route (could be based on training runs), or a circuit route run a number of times, just so long as its 26.2 miles. The route does not need to be measured to official race standards. He normal runs on road, but is happy with a mix of trail/road. The route does need to start and finish at the same place.

Company on the Day. Ben does not have a support team that travel with him.  He is doing this as a one-man band, just him and his motorhome.  If anyone from the club wants to join Ben on the day, he would be very grateful for the company – even if it’s just for part of the distance – not least to help him with the navigation!  He is running around an 11 min mile pace as the Challenge is about endurance rather than speed.  His planned start time will be 0930.

Route Map and Logo. What we are seeking is a copy of the route on something like Mapmyrun or similar; anything that enables me to download a gpx file.  We also ask for copy of your club logo, club website address and the address of the start/finish point..  The route, logo, website address and start point are loaded onto our webpage, which hopefully gets more visits to your webpage.

Parking suggestions for near start point. Ben uses his motorhome as his home and his base on each run, so he needs to be able to park it close to or at the start during the time he is actually running.  The motorhome is 6m long and 2.8m high and does not fit multi-storey car parks or height restricted car parks. He is happy thought to pay for parking. He is staying with friends close by the night before in Boturich Castle, so parking may not be an issue for this run.

He is doing this as a personal challenge and to raise money for 2 anti-bullying charities. During school-time he can also start his day talking at a local school about his Challenge and anti-bullying.

Have a look at his website for more general information on the Challenge.  His FB site shows what he up to now and which Club is supporting him for the day.  He has run with over 100 clubs now, both small and large, and more than 2000 people have run with him.

Please contact me if you have any questions, either by email or phone 07799 678527.  Thanks for your time and I hope you can help us.


Pete Smith

401 Ops Lead.

The 401 Challenge

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