Ben Smith

Ben Smith

Age: 38
Location: Kent
Marathon: Brighton
Target: Sub-3:20

When and why did you start running, and what races have you run so far?
I started running as a way of keeping fit. I began with just a mile each day and enjoyed the buzz of being able to see progress quite quickly. I ran my first marathon at London in April 2003, which I found very tough as it was raining heavily and I vowed never to run another one! After getting over the pain of the first marathon, I went on to run the London Marathon each year until 2011, when I decided to try the Brighton Marathon, which I have run every year since.

What do you enjoy most about running?
I enjoy the release from the everyday stresses of life that running gives me. My head clears when I run and problems
I have failed to find solutions for at work can become much clearer. I work in central London so have the joy of running in a number of great parks and along the South Bank.

What marathon are you running, why did you choose it, and what time are you hoping for?
I am running the Brighton Marathon in April and I chose this one as it’s flat, familiar and well supported. I have some good memories of running Brighton but the final five miles are very tough indeed. I am hoping for a finish time this year of under 3:20. I finished in 3:24 last year but think I can take off at least five minutes with proper training.

Why did you want to be part of the Big Marathon Challenge?
I have subscribed to Men’s Running for quite a while now and have always wanted to apply for this challenge but never have. When it came up this year, I made a point of tearing out the two-page advertisement so I wouldn’t forget to do it. I applied that night and felt better for it. I honestly didn’t think I would be chosen, though!

Tell us one interesting fact about you.
I have always been active and played tennis to a good standard when I was younger. I wasn’t quite Andy Murray, but I did a bit of coaching and still follow the big tournaments on TV.

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