401 MARATHON RUNNER Ben Smith (34) will be the official race starter of the 2016 Bournemouth Marathon on Sunday 2nd October.

Ben is close to the end of his remarkable challenge of running the equivalent of 401 marathons in as many days. The Bournemouth Marathon will be Ben’s 398th marathon.

The race starts at 10am on Sunday morning which will see thousands of runners set off from Kings Park and complete the coastal marathon route around Bournemouth and Poole.

Ben has currently raised over £165,000 for his two chosen Anti-Bullying charities Kidscape and Stonewall. Part of the 401 challenge is to raise awareness of the shocking effects bullying can have on an individual after Ben experienced bullying at boarding school which led to two suicide attempts and depression.

Since the challenge began, Ben has visited nearly 100 schools where he has delivered educational talks about the harmful effects of bullying.

“The Bournemouth Marathon is the only official marathon that I’m doing twice throughout my challenge so I’m incredibly honoured to be the official starter for the Bournemouth Marathon.” said Ben.

The Bournemouth Marathon Festival takes place on 1st & 2nd October. For more information visit www.bournemouthmarathon.com