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Ben's marathon challenge in the US

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‘MARATHON man’ Ben Smith made a visit to Park House School recently to give pupils a talk on his teenage years and what inspired him to take on his world-famous challenges.

Mr Smith is most well-known for being the only person in the world to have run 401 marathons in 401 days, which he completed in 2015 and 2016, having only taken 10 days off to recover from an umbilical hernia injury.

Park House pupils were also involved in this feat, as they ran the first mile of his 65th consecutive marathon with him when he came through Newbury.

Some of these same pupils were present on June 10 to meet Mr Smith for a second time as he delivered a talk to 180 Year 10 pupils.

Park House School’s active wellbeing co-ordinator Liz Hawkins, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Ben back to Park House School for an update on the 401 Challenge and what has been going on behind the scenes since his last visit, leading up to the start-up of the 401 foundation.

“Ben’s talk was from the heart and kept the Year 10 students’ attention and interest from start to finish.”

Through his efforts, Mr Smith has raised £330,000 for charity.

He was also the recipient of the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Helen Rollason Award, which is given for “outstanding achievement in the face of adversity”.

The talk is part of the build-up to Mr Smith’s plan to run 50 marathons in 50 states around the USA in 2020.

With his 50 states challenge, he is hoping to raise £1m for two mental health charities – the 401 Foundation (his own charity) and the Youth Sport Trust.

As well as running the 50 marathons, he will cycle around 17,000 miles between them as he attempts to complete the challenge in just 104 days.

Mr Smith is currently on a motivational talk tour around the country to raise the £150,000 needed to fund the USA 2020 challenge.

As well as these talks, he is also working with the Youth Sport Trust to release an Ofsted-approved educational programme on the four pillars of wellbeing.

The programme will involve 4,000 schools, including Park House, and it will cover each area of the curriculum.

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