Tweed Striders help Ben take Berwick marathon in his stride

A tenacious fundraiser has visited Berwick during his world-record attempt to run 401 marathons in 401 consecutive days around 309 different locations in the UK.

Friday, 18th March 2016, 12:29 pm
Ben Smith crosses the Chain Bridge
Ben Smith crosses the Chain Bridge

While in the North East, Ben Smith, from Bristol, has run marathons in Alnwick, Bamburgh and Berwick, where the Tweed Striders running club helped map out a route for him.

Swan Leisure Centre massage therapist Henrietta Carter, pictured far right, greeted him on Wednesday to give him much-needed treatment to help him recover for the following day.

At 9.30am on Thursday, he departed the Swan Centre accompanied by Tweed Striders Stuart Black, Jane Holmes, Colin Thompson, Will McDermott, Steve Lauder, Judith Thompson and Liz Howlett.

Work commitments and time constraints meant that Judith and Liz could only run the first couple of miles to East Ord where they left Ben and his merry band to continue onward.

At the Chain Bridge, he was met by renowned piper Andrew Smith who, in full regalia, undoubtedly made Ben’s day by piping him over the border from England into Scotland.

Ben lost 17kg in 12 weeks so now needs to take on board 6,000 calories a day in order to maintain his status quo. So, after a brief detour into Paxton House Tea Rooms for the first refuelling stop of the day, he ran on via Paxton, Hutton and Broomdykes where they detoured down into Allanton and the Allanton Inn.

At this point – mile 15 – Will McDermott’s legs decreed enough was enough, so Ben’s entourage was reduced by one until Caroline McDermott joined him and the others for the final seven miles back into Berwick.

For Colin Thompson and Steve Lauder, it was a truly unforgettable first. Both started out with the aim of running one or perhaps two sections of the course but, in the event, they ran the full 26.2 miles so completed their first marathon, albeit totally unexpectedly.