Bracing Skegness welcome for 401 marathon challenge

A runner, who set himself a 401 marathon challenge to build his confidence after being a victim of homophobic bullying, has had a bracing welcome in Skegness.

Ben Smith joined members of Skegness and District Running Club for his 113th marathon today, all of which are being run on consecutive days.

Ben Smith with members of Skegness Running Club before the start of his 113th marathon in the resort. ANL-151222-171734001

Ben Smith with members of Skegness Running Club before the start of his 113th marathon in the resort. ANL-151222-171734001

With his team of supporters, he set off from Skegness Pier on a figure of eight course around the resort just after 9.30am, after a countdown from the Mayor of Skegness Carl Macey.

Ben said: “It’s great being here with Skegness and District Running Club today. Two hundred and 50 running clubs are supporting my challenge and so far we have had 100 personal bests and 60 running their first marathon.

“The support from Skegness has been tremendous - one member of Skegness and District Running Club even drove to Cambridge to join me on one of my previous marathons.”

As well as raising money for Stonewall and Kidscape, today’s marathon was dedicated to County Care in Skegness, which offers support for people with learning disabilities, with one of the service users Emma Kidd running the first mile.

The support from Skegness has been tremendous

Ben Smith

Those who stood the course enjoyed a bracing back wind, some of the way, and stopped off at Seaview Fisheries for some fish and chip fuel.

For the full story, see next week’s Skegness Standard