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Coronavirus: Sidcup runner takes on marathon challenge in his back garden

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 April 2020

James Page crossing a toilet roll finishing line after running a marathon in his back garden in Sidcup. Picture: James Page/PA Wire

James Page crossing a toilet roll finishing line after running a marathon in his back garden in Sidcup. Picture: James Page/PA Wire

A Sidcup runner has taken on a unique marathon - 873 laps of his own back garden.

James Page running a marathon in his back garden in Sidcup. Picture: James Page/PA WireJames Page running a marathon in his back garden in Sidcup. Picture: James Page/PA Wire

James Page had spent several months training for an ultra-marathon and the London Marathon, but both have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And although he plans to run those races when they are rescheduled later in the year, he decided to put his hours of hard graft to use by completing 26.2 miles in his garden.

“It wasn’t as hard as I thought,” the 36-year-old said. “I actually quite enjoyed it in a weird 
way.”

The runner has raised more than £3,000 for Children With Cancer UK during his training.

James Page running a marathon in his back garden in Sidcup. Picture: James Page/PA WireJames Page running a marathon in his back garden in Sidcup. Picture: James Page/PA Wire

It’s a cause close to his heart after both his parents were diagnosed with cancer in the past 18 months.

Running around his garden and switching direction every 20 minutes or so to protect his knees, James completed 873 laps in just under five hours.

“I was hoping to get it done in a really good time and beat my previous marathon times,” he said.

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“But when you’re running in almost a circle in your garden, the corners are quite tight, so you can’t build up enough speed, otherwise you’d be having to bang the brakes on every corner.”

James said the laps were around 50 metres each, with a toilet roll finish line - created by his son - becoming the source of some stick online.

“I put it on Facebook and all anyone seemed to be bothered about was ‘oh, you’re wasting toilet roll!”’ he explained.

James’ efforts have also given his lawn a temporary new look.

“I’ve trodden down all the grass, from out the window you can see a perfect trek of the loop I was running,” he said.

“My wife’s not too happy.”

Children with Cancer UK is organising the Together as One run, set to take place on the original day of the London Marathon, April 26.

It is encouraging people to use their daily exercise to run wherever they can in the UK between 9.30am and 10.30am to raise money for childhood cancer research.

For more information, visit childrenwithcancer.org.uk/get-involved/events/the-together-as-one-run/

James’ fundraising page is at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JamesPage20


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