Extreme marathon runner, and inspirational athlete, Ben Smith has been driven to pursue a career based on finding happiness. A charity founder, sportsman and speaker, Ben uses his own story of a tormented childhood to engage audience in the topic of bulling and offer strategies for change. The awareness Ben brings to such areas as LGBT+ rights, mental health and healing through sport is essential, and beneficial to a range of audiences.
Best known for the incredible feat he achieved in 2016, Ben ran 401 marathons in 401 days to raise money for charity. Far from a professional runner, a hobby turned into a mission for Ben who raised £250,000 for anti-bullying charities in the process of running a total of 10,506.4 miles. The challenge saw 13,500 people inspired to join along the 309 locations the marathons took place and projected Ben into the spotlight, furthering his fundraising efforts.
Ben hasn’t always been a thriving inspiration; in contrast his school days were spent enduring physical and mental bullying due to being gay. Suffering severe mental health impacts from the bulling, leading to suicidal thoughts, Ben spent his 20s unhappy, and overweight. After picking up running shoes for the first time, Ben was transformed, having found his happy, he has gone on to advocate for gay rights and complete challenges in the name of anti-bulling awareness.
Currently, Ben is training for his next adventure, through the 401 Foundation which he set up as a charity to support his mission. In 2021 Ben will run and cycle across the 50 states of America promoting wellbeing and mental health in a collaborative project with Youth Sport Trust. As a speaker, Ben draws on his life experiences to inspire and educate others and empower the LGBT+ community.
Ben Smith is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:
“Ben’s delivery of his personal story and journey was done in an authentic way. The audience could really relate to Ben and found his talk very moving. It really did start a conversation within the Company to talk more openly about mental health.”
“Your talk set an important tone for the rest of the day. The day was attended by 150 members of the paediatric multi-professional teams mainly from the Great North Children’s Hospital, but also colleagues’ working across the North East and it was a great success.”
“Ben was an amazing person, really friendly and really approachable. He talked to the delegates on numerous occasions as he walked around the hotel, at the airport etc. His presentation was so inspirational. Throughout his presentation you could have heard a pin drop. His delivery was so good and his story was just so interesting.