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Digital Subscriptions > AW - The best coverage of the No.1 Olympic sport > 01/12/2016 > POWER TO CHANGE


Ben Smith already knew running could be a potent force but he tells Euan Crumley why the reaction to his incredible journey truly took him aback
Ben Smith was not short of company when he finished his challenge in October
Michael Lloyd

IT was back in April, while running the Asics Greater Manchester Marathon, that Ben Smith first realised his idea — his mission — was starting to create something special.

Covering the 26.2-mile distance was nothing new to this intrepid 34-year-old – he’d been doing it on a daily basis since he set off on his self-imposed quest at the beginning of September 2015 after all – but he had been largely ploughing a lone furrow and hadn’t been part of a large-scale event for months.

It proved to be quite an eye-opening experience – and the occasion when it was confirmed to him that the 401 Challenge (which involved running the equivalent of 401 marathons in 401 days) was not just capturing the public’s imagination but, importantly, really beginning to galvanise the running community.

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About AW - The best coverage of the No.1 Olympic sport

THE BIG INTERVIEW 14 DAVID RUDISHA Why the Olympic 800m champion thought he was finished SPOTLIGHT 18 BRIANNA ROLLINS How the sprint-hurdler used a laidback approach to take Rio gold ACTION 36 LIVERPOOL CROSS Andy Butchart prevails over top field at Euro Cross trials, while Gemma Steel is leading woman PERFORMANCE 26 Sports science news 28 Athlete Insight – Sara Treacy 30 Dynamic warm-ups 32 Products – running headgear A BRIT ABROAD 20 Tim Hutchings laments the demise of the world cross country champs NEWS 6 Usain Bolt film premieres 8 GB relay women set for upgrade 10 Alex Yee keeps sport options open RESULTS & FIXTURES 46 Results round-up 57 What’s On fixtures guide REGULARS 24 Letters 25 Book reviews 34 Young Athlete – John Millar 61 Quiz – test your knowledge 62 Dip Finish