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401 Runner Ben Smith awarded Pride of Britain

Ben raised £250,000 for anti-bullying charities Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

Ben Smith from Portishead - the man who completed 401 marathons in 401 days has been honoured with ITV's Fundraiser of the Year at the prestigious Pride of Britain awards.

Ben, who he used to be unable to "run for a bus" completed the challenge of running 401 marathons in 401 days in October and was named ITV Fundraiser of the Year at the awards ceremony last night (Mon).

The 34 year old ran more than ten thousand miles during his epic challenge which began on September 1st 2015. It is the equivalent of running from London to Sydney.

Ben completed his challenge in October Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

We caught up with a very proud Ben

Ben wanted to raise awareness of bullying among young people, with the money collected to be shared between charities Stonewall and Kidscape.

They are charities close to his heart. Ben was bullied as a teenager and tried to take his own life twice. He also suffered a mini-stroke aged 29 following years of bullying and physical abuse at boarding school.

A friend encouraged him to join a running club during his recovery and he found it helped him regain mental and physical health.

Having gone from not being able to run for a bus to being on the cusp of running my 401st marathon, I am truly grateful to everyone that has been involved in getting me to this point.

I have grown in confidence and belief in my ability and have been overwhelmed by the support everyone has shown both me and the project.

Bullying touches everyone. This project has been an opportunity to bring the issues of bullying to the forefront of people's mind and has for many been a source of inspiration and change.

– Ben Smith, 401 Challenge

Mr Smith wanted to do something to raise awareness of the damage that bullying can do as well as raise money to support relevant charities. Injuries prevented the 34-year-old from running for 401 consecutive days but he kept to his schedule by making up the lost mileage.

Find out more about the 401 Challenge.

The Pride of Britain Awards ITV are screened at 8pm on Tuesday.

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