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British man runs marathon in backyard during lockdown

James Campbell, a former professional javelin thrower, spent his 32nd birthday on Wednesday doing 20-foot (6 meter) shuttles from one end of his small backyard to the other after promising to run a marathon if one of his Twitter messages received 10,000 retweets.

James Campbell runs a charity marathon in his garden in Cheltenham, England, while the country is in lockdown.
James Campbell runs a charity marathon in his garden in Cheltenham, England, while the country is in lockdown.
Jacob King/PA via AP

CHELTENHAM, England — Being stuck at home didn’t stop a British man from running an outdoor marathon.

James Campbell, a former professional javelin thrower, spent his 32nd birthday on Wednesday doing 20-foot (6 meter) shuttles from one end of his small backyard to the other after promising to run a marathon if one of his Twitter messages received 10,000 retweets.

By the time Campbell completed the marathon in just over five hours, he had raised more than $22,000 for Britain’s National Health Service to help battle the coronavirus pandemic.

The effort — labelled the #6metregardenchallenge — was live-streamed, with former England soccer great Geoff Hurst among the viewers. Neighbors poked their heads over the backyard fence to give Campbell encouragement.

Campbell ran across a patch of grass, some stones and a small patio in 6-meter (20-foot) stretches. He calculated he would have to traverse his yard at least 7,000 times to reach 26.2 miles.