Run for Heroes 5km challenge creator Olivia Strong says £5million for the NHS would be the dream

  • Video report by ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith

On the uphill stretch of a scenic route through Edinburgh, one runner had an idea - what if we could put our daily state-approved, socially-distanced exercise to good use?

Olivia Strong came up with the concept during her regular jog.

She ran five kilometres. Then, when she got home, she set up a fundraiser for the NHS Covid-19 appeal and donated £5.

Then, she nominated five of her friends on social media to do the same.

She called it Run For Heroes and it’s gone much, much further than she anticipated.

"When we started, the idea was to raise £5,000 for the NHS," Olivia told ITV News.

"We smashed that £5k target in four days!. We're now sitting on just over £4million, and closing in on £5m. If we can get that - well, that would be the dream," she added.

Stars of sport and pop have taken up the Instagram challenge. Credit:

She added: "Hopefully the money goes some way to helping the NHS because they're the people who need it the most right now."

If you added up the total distance covered by everyone who’s taken part in Run for Heroes, it would be enough to reach the moon and back.

It also has celebrity endorsement from pop star Ellie Goulding, former England footballer John Terry, and DJ Chris Moyles.

This isn't a challenge just for amateur runners in lockdown, though.

Mo Farah was nominated by Romeo Beckham, and he didn't shy away from the challenge.

If you’re wondering how long it takes Britain’s most successful track athlete in modern Olympic history to run 5k, well, we asked him.

"12 minutes 53 seconds," Farah says. "That's on the track."

Farah also had a challenge for his favourite news presenter, calling out ITV News' Mary Nightingale among his five nominations.

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