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Man runs ‘repetitive’ marathon by doing laps of his back garden

PUBLISHED: 11:32 29 April 2020 | UPDATED: 21:28 01 May 2020

Ben Banks ran a marathon around his Thurston garden during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: JULIA STUCKEY

Ben Banks ran a marathon around his Thurston garden during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: JULIA STUCKEY

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“It was very repetitive” was Ben Banks’ verdict on the 26.2-miles he ran by covering hundreds of laps in the back garden of his Thurston home.

Ben Banks ran a marathon around his Thurston garden during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: JULIA STUCKEYBen Banks ran a marathon around his Thurston garden during the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: JULIA STUCKEY

The 25-year-old had been due to run the Brighton Marathon a week before, until it was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.

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Many of us might’ve taken the opportunity to put our feet up - but, having caught the running bug, Ben decided to go ahead anyway and run the 26.2-miles by doing laps of his garden.

He admitted the so-called ‘route’ got a bit samey after a while, even with his attempts to bring in a bit of variety by running in different directions across the lawn.

Ben Banks ran a marathon around his Thurston garden during the coronavirus lockdown. This map of his run shows his very repetitive route. Picture: JULIA STUCKEYBen Banks ran a marathon around his Thurston garden during the coronavirus lockdown. This map of his run shows his very repetitive route. Picture: JULIA STUCKEY

Without the scenic routes and cheering crowds of most marathons, Ben admitted it was a “mental struggle” - although his relatives came out of the house regularly to offer him moral support.

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However, once he was a couple of hours in, Ben told himself that he’d gone too far to give up half-way through.

And he even surprised himself by setting a new personal best, with a time of 4hrs, 13mins and 43secs.

Ben had originally aimed to run the Brighton Marathon for the charity Mind, as people close to him have been affected by mental ill health in the past.

However in light of the current pandemic, he has chosen to donate half of the money he is raising from the run on Sunday, April 26 - the same day as the London Marathon - to the Charities Aid Foundation, to help those affected by the crisis.

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“I saw the campaign and wanted to do something to help out,” he said.

“I’ve still been doing my training, so wanted to put that to some use as well - especially at the moment, when getting outside to do anything is difficult.

“It was very repetitive but I tried to mix it up a bit, anything to make it a bit more interesting!

“It was a lot harder than a normal marathon. The only support I had was my family - every so often they would come out to see how I was getting on.

“It was a mental struggle but I really wanted to complete it. I knew I could have a rest at the end!”

Ben hopes to be able to run the Brighton Marathon itself later in the year, should it be possible to reschedule the event.


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