Ben Smith

The USA Challenge

Fundraising for The 401 Foundation
raised of £104,000 target
by 48 supporters
The 401 Foundation

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1175605
We support local communities to improve access to mental health support


On June 14th 2022 I will officially start my next global fundraising adventure which will see me run and cycle a total of 10,700+ miles across all 50 US states in just 86 days to raise £104,000 for The 401 Foundation.

As far back as I can remember, I have always struggled with my mental health, a sentiment I am sure is shared by anyone reading this. Our mental health is the main building block of who we are as a person and when it's off; even just a little bit, it can feel horrible.

Back when I was 29 I suffered a TIA, something that at the time I felt was the worst thing that could have happened to me, but in fact turned out to be the best. It made me take a long hard look at my life and I realised that I had spent the best part of 20 years doing things that others wanted me to do, not what I wanted. Having been bullied from the age of 10, my confidence and self-esteem was none exsistent. I had tried to commit suicide twice before and had reserved myself to doing and being what others wanted me to be.

At 17.5 stone, a 40 a day smoker and to be honest not very healthy I found solace in running - a huge shock to me to be honest, I was that guy that drove past runners with a cigarette hanging out the car window thinking they were mad!

Running took me on voyage of self discovery shall we say, with every step I found my confidence and my self esteem started to come back and after finally talking to a professional about what had happened to me when I was younger I managed to come to terms with everything and refocused my energies on a huge fundraising challenge called The 401 Challenge.

In 2015 and 2016 I ran 401 marathons in 401 days raising over £330,000 for two anti bullying charities. Running with over 13,500 people and covering around 10,500 miles all round the UK from Lands End to John O Groats, we inspired hundreds of thousands of people to come together in the fight against bullying.

Once the challenge was over, we wanted to build on what we had created and setup The 401 Foundation. The charity helps people empower themselves and their local communities to build confidence, self-esteem and promote positive mental health. It firmly believes everyone has the right to find their happy and aims to provide support, empathy, and care so it can truly make a positive difference.

The money we are trying to raise through me doing The USA Challenge will be used to develop the worlds first mental wellness app designed to connect people to initiatives and resources in their local community that can help them manage, maintain and treat their own mental health.

Check out our 'How to Support ' page and see all the different fundraising initiatives we've developed to help raise the £104,000 needed to build the Wellness App. Don't worry though, if you just want to donate you can do that as well!

Please feel free to get in touch with me via email at or The 401 Foundation charity at if you have any questions or would like to offer additional support.

Thank you


About the charity

The 401 Foundation

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1175605
We provide financial aim to local communities to improve access to mental health support.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £406.15 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

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