Broad Overview

We are seeking 2 Project Managers (PM) to support The USA 2020 Challenge during the period February 2020 to June 2020.

The USA 2020 Challenge will see Ben Smith, Director of The 401 Challenge and Founder of The 401 Foundation, run a marathon in each of the 50 US State capitals as well as cycle between each one. Ben will be aiming to complete the 14,001 mile adventure in just 104 days: starting in March 2020 and finishing during National School Sport Week in June 2020.

During this epic challenge, with the help of schools, organisations and individuals all around the UK and further afield, Ben is aiming to raise £1 million for two charities: The 401 Foundation and Youth Sport Trust, supporting their work which uses physical activity to improve people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Ben will be supported in the USA by a small voluntary team of individuals consisting of a Project Manager, Therapist and Media/Communications Manager. The second Project Manager’s role will initially be UK based. The Project Manager’s will switch over at the half-way mark of the Challenge with the initial US-based Project Manager returning to the UK to take on the UK Project Manager role and the UK Project Manager travelling out to the USA to take over the US Project Manager role. The USA-Based Project Manager will, by default, be the Lead Project Manager role.

The USA Based Project Manager will be responsible to Ben for the running, monitoring and development of the Challenge. 


USA-based Project Manager

  • Be responsible to Ben for the running, monitoring and development of the USA 2020 Challenge. 
  • Lead the USA/UK Team and run, monitor and develop the Challenge on behalf of Ben.
  • Delegate suitable work arising during the event to the UK-based Deputy OM and other Team members
  • Organise and run the daily USA 2020 programme in close liaison with the rest of the US/UKTeam.
  • Arrange the  USA team accommodation bookings for the in-country team.
  • Manage USA team transport support.
  • Manage and maintain USA team logistics support in liaison with other Team members
  • Routinely review risks areas and plan, in liaison with the Team, suitable alternatives/back-ups.
  • Manage in-country communication for the USA-based Team.
  • Manage communications between USA and UK Team members
  • Manage the Team Budget.
  • Manage communications and liaison with relevant US agencies, such as schools, local police forces, rental car companies, hotels, airlines and alike.
  • Share the driving of the Team transport.
  • Run a daily briefing for all USA Based Team members and provide the UK PM with an electronic copy of the main points.

UK-Based PM

  • Act as deputy to the USA-based PM.
  • Liaise with UK organisation connected with or interested in the USA 2020 Challenge, including the UK Sports Trust, schools, and USA 2020 Partners and Sponsors.
  • Maintain an  overview of the Team Budget in coordination with the USA PM.
  • Undertake tasks delegated by the USA PM.

Ideal Candidate

  • The ideal candidate will be able to be self-motivated, manage a varied workload, have a keen eye for detail, have the ability to frequently work to tight deadlines in a challenging and mobile work environment; they must also be prepared to multi-task by shadowing other support team members in order to act as a back-up or make arrangements to enable tasks to be covered.
  • To be comfortable with being in front of a camera and able to communicate effectively as we will require all USA team roles to document their own journeys that will then be shared with media, schools, businesses and The 401 Challenge social following. 
  • To be successful in this role you will need experience and evidence of project and operations management, including managing risk, working with a small team, operating in a fast changing environment and sound communication skills
  • Knowledge or experience of fundraising challenge, participation in sporting endurance events and First Aid, whilst not a requirement, would be beneficial.
  • You will have experience of working with both professional and community agencies/groups and be comfortable travelling and living abroad. You will also need to evidence excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, good interpersonal skills and be confident in the use of the main social media platforms and office-based software.
  • You will be prepared to travel to and operate within the USA fas the USA PM for up to 2.5 months, with few down days, as well as operating for 2.5 months in the UK in the Dep PM role. You will also need to be available from the start of February in order to take over the role and begin preparing the Team for the start of the event. Both PM roles will terminate in early July 2020 on completion USA 2020 Challenge.


  • Leadership – You must be able to inspire others, set the vision and lead effectively.
  • Communication – You must be able to think creatively about the communication channels you will have available to you, both in the USA and UK.
  • Scheduling – This is a core skill you must have to ensure the USA 2020 Challenge remains on track and all the moving parts work together efficiently.
  • Risk Management – You must be able to control risks and quickly identify solutions to reduce, mitigate.
  • Negotiating – You must have good negotiation skills and be prepared to resolve conflicts by finding the win-win scenarios for everyone.
  • Critical Thinking – You must be able to make good decisions. You will often have to quickly weigh up the pros and cons of any solutions to a given problem before choosing the right way forward.
  • Task Management – You must be able to create and maintain a running task list, delegate work where appropriate and keep on top of progress. 
  • Cost Management – You need to show that you can deliver the project within the cost constraints and by managing the finances intelligently.
  • Sense Of Humour – This will enable you to stay grounded and maintain the goodwill of the rest of the Team.

Additional Information

  • This position would suit someone who wants to use their skills to do something different, widen their work experience, support the 401 Foundation and be part of a small team looking to make a big difference.
  • Applicants will need to have and show evidence of a clean UK driving license, be 25 or older and have experience of driving transit vans or similar size vehicles. Successful applicants will need to obtain an International Driving Licence prior to departure to the USA.
  • Applicants will need to apply for a USA Tourist Visa to cover the 2 to 2.5 month period they will be in the USA.  Applicants will need to affirm, prior to taking up post, that they have no criminal convictions and have not previously been refused entry to use USA.
  • Applicants will need to provide their own Travel and Medical Insurance and pass details of such, prior to travel to the USA, to the UK Based PM. Medical Insurance must also cover dental care. Successful applicants must declare any serious allergies and will be responsible for sourcing and carrying any required medicines.  They will also be responsible for having any vaccines required for travel.

Voluntary Position

This is an unpaid Volunteer position. However, travel to and from the USA, as well as accommodation and meals and Challenge-related use of support vehicles in the USA will be covered by the USA 2020 Challenge.