The children of Tannery Drift First School were visited by an athlete who inspired them to take on a running challenge.

Ben Smith visited the school on Wednesday, June 28, and told the staff and pupils how he was bullied at school and had a stroke when he was 29.

He started running at age 31, and said the running community made him feel comfortable and accepted.

Ben went on to complete 401 marathons in 401 days, the equivalent of running from Tannery Drift to Sydney.

Royston Crow: Athlete Ben Smith with pupils at Tannery Drift First School in RoystonAthlete Ben Smith with pupils at Tannery Drift First School in Royston (Image: Tannery Drift First School)

Following Ben's experiences at school, he now raises money for anti-bullying charities.

The children had the opportunity to ask Ben questions, which ranged from his favourite flavour of ice cream to how many pairs of trainers he got through when he ran all the marathons - 27 in total.

All the pupils then joined Ben to run, jog or walk laps of the field, and Ben said he was impressed with their behaviour and athletic skills.

Ben's visit took place ahead of Tannery Drift's sports and science week. As well as taking part in a sports day, the children had a go at table tennis, dance, bowls and archery.


They also learnt more about the different organs that help them with sport, such as the brain, eyes, lungs and heart, and that they need their skeletons, muscles and ligaments when pulling a bow in archery.

The children made models to demonstrate how we inhale and exhale, how our heart pumps blood and how our hand can open and close.

Younger children at the school have been investigating why we sweat using a fan and a pair of socks, while key stage 2 pupils have been learning about which type of sports ball bounces the highest and why.

Meanwhile the whole school has been testing their reaction times to see if age makes a difference in how fast our reactions are.

Finally, each day the children looked at different careers that use science and technology, helping them see the relevance of science and technology in their everyday lives.

For more information about Ben's challenge go to