Tuesday 10th May to Monday 16th May





Cycling Miles




ft of elevation

Tuesday 10th May to Monday 16th May

As part of my training and preparation for The USA Challenge this summer, I will be mimicking the first 7 days of the challenge right here in the UK.

This will give me the chance to test out both my bike and kit, helping me to understand how each day will logistically work. Planning it all out is great, but there's nothing better than actually getting out there and testing the plan. This trial should give me a good indication of what will work and what won't, I will then have, plenty of time to solve any issues before the actual event.

Even though my challenge in the USA will be a solo one, I appreciate that there maybe a few people that would like to get involved in the trial here in the UK. With that in mind I am opening up the chance to join me on any of the seven marathons throughout the week. I'm afraid I'm unable to accommodate any support on the bike rides, plus from a personal perspective I want to see how I do on my own if you know what I mean.

The full schedule of the week is listed below and if you are thinking of joining me for any of the marathons throughout the week here's a few things to be aware of as this time around will be different to how we operated the 401 Challenge events back in 2015-16.


  • All marathons will officially start at 5:00am, we won't be able to wait around I'm sorry.

  • The pace of each marathon will be around 10 min/mi pace meaning each marathon will be completed in an estimated time of 4 hours and 30 minutes. The reason for this pace is down to two things, firstly to reduce cumulative stress on my body throughout the week and secondly, keeping to schedule as once I finish I will get on the bike and cycle to my next location.

  • The marathons will be made up of 2 or 3 mile laps which will start and end in the same place. If you don't want to run the entire marathon, you are able to join in for one or as may laps as you want to.

  • If 5:00am is too early for you, you can arrive at the start location any time during 5:00am and 9:00am and I can pick you up when I come back around to start my next lap. Laps will take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete.

  • Please be mindful that timing is vitally important for this trial to succeed, this means I may not be able to stay around and chat after the marathon, or run slower than 10 min/mi pace as ensuring I get to the bike at the right time is important so that I can get to my next location in good time, giving me time to recover ahead the next day.

  • It goes without saying that if you are feeling unwell, whether that's physically or are showing signs of COVID-19 / test positive, please don't come long as with just about one month to go the last thing we want is for me to come down with COVID and not be able to go - a lot is at stake so please act responsibly.

  • The seven marathon events are not official events so please bring any water, food and equipment you personally may need for the run.

  • You are responsible for your own safety, travel, parking and belongings. There will be no bag drop and you may have to seek permission to park near to or at the start location.

If you have any questions or would like to join in with any of the seven marathons please drop us an email to support@the401challenge.co.uk and we be more than happy to answer them and/or send you the start location information for whichever marathon / part marathon you would like to take part in.

Thanks for your support and understanding

Ben and The 401 Challenge Team






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Day 1 - Portishead to Worcester

Tuesday 10th May

  • Marathon - 5:00am in Portishead

  • Cycle - 10:00am (75.7 miles)

Day 2 - Worcester to Altrincham (Manchester)

Wednesday 11th May

  • Marathon - 5:00am in Worcester

  • Cycle - 10:00am (102.5 miles)

Day 3 - Altrincham (Manchester) to Kirkham

Thursday 12th May

  • Marathon - 5:00am in Altrincham (Manchester)

  • Cycle - 10:00am (46.8 miles)

Day 4 - Kirkham to Wakefield

Friday 13th May

  • Marathon - 5:00am in Kirkham

  • Cycle - 10:00am (73.4 miles)

Day 5 - Wakefiled to Lincoln

Saturday 14th May

  • Marathon - 5:00am in Wakefield

  • Cycle - 10:00am (72.3 miles)

Day 6 - Lincoln to Warwick

Sunday 15th May

  • Marathon - 5:00am in Lincoln

  • Cycle - 10:00am (101.4 miles)

Day 7 - Warwick to Portishead

Monday 16th May (my 40th birthday!)

  • Marathon - 5:00am in Warwick

  • Cycle - 10:00am (96.9 miles)