Runner suspends 401 marathons bid due to back injury

Ben Smith 401 Challenge Image copyright 401 Challenge
Image caption Ben Smith hopes to raise £250,000 for two anti-bullying charities

A runner has pledged to complete his bid to run 401 marathons in 401 days despite a back injury which has forced him to take some time out.

Ben Smith had completed 284 consecutive marathons in 284 days when he developed an umbilical hernia in Aberdeen.

Mr Smith said: "It's caused a bulging disc which is causing some nerve pain and a curvature in my spine."

He has pledged to restart on Tuesday and extend his daily runs so he can still meet his challenge on time.

Mr Smith, from Portishead, is now taking time out in Blackpool for intensive physiotherapy and acupuncture sessions.

Extra miles

"To be honest I was absolutely gutted and I didn't really know what to do with myself.

"But I've got a fantastic team of people around me and they've worked tirelessly over the past couple of days.

"We've all come together with a plan now and all going well I'm due to be going back out on the road on Tuesday next week," he added.

He will start back at Inverness and will need to cover an extra 2.5 miles a day for the next 106 days to make up for the time he has lost.

The aim is to finish the run as planned on 5 October in Bristol.

Mr Smith hopes to raise £250,000 for the anti-bullying charities, Stonewall and Kidscape.

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