Ben Smith

Ben Smith states his USA aims for 2021

USA charity challenge for Ben Smith

“In 2015, I ran 401 marathons in 401 days, raising £330K for two anti-bullying charities. Now I am training to run a marathon in each USA state capital, cycling between them, covering 14,000 miles in 104 days to raise £1 million for two mental health charities”, said Ben Smith. 

We are all looking forward to experiencing the 'new normal' post-Coronavirus but Ben Smith from Portishead, North Somerset is preparing for the new extraordinary, with the statement above taken from his awe-inspiring Facebook profile.

Ben Smith's latest amazing adventure – referred to in the above quote – was due to start in Maine in March 2020 and finish in Hawaii this month. The USA road trip with a difference was due to take 104 days and raise £1million for charity. 

Of course, the global Covid-19 pandemic intervened, so the rebooted project is for a summer 2021 challenge, running a marathon in all 50 of the US state capitals to raise £500,000 for The 401 Foundation which financially supports mental health projects in your local area.

The numbers are mind-blowing: 13,897 miles in 104 days is just the start. That breaks down to 50 marathons in all 50 USA state capitals for 1,310 miles of running in less than 15 weeks. And don't forget the 12,587 miles of cycling between marathon start lines. But that's not all. While averaging 134 miles of foot and cycle travel every day, Ben will also be climbing 440,760 feet – the equivalent of scaling Everest 15 times!   

Ben Smith is the 2016 winner of the BBC Sports Personality Helen Rollason Award; an award winning ultra-marathoner; charity fundraiser and engaging blogger, with a huge following. He is pictured above during his 401 marathons in 401 days challenge five years ago. 

This is a man on a mission who needs your support. You can join the effort by going virtual as far as you can, or wish, or purchase branded USA Challenge Collection merchandise, including a £10 washable and reusable face mask with £1 of all sales donated to NHS charities. Also available are vests, technical T-shirts and cycling jerseys made from recycled plastic bottles.

All the information you need is available on the official USA Challenge website.

Image courtesy Ben Smith/401 Challenge

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