Runner completes washing line marathon in his back yard

A Cumbrian man has completed a marathon by running lengths of his own back garden.

Ian Puckie Spriggs, 53, from Brampton, ran the distance of his washing line 13,100 times.

He had been in training for a 100-miles running event in Chester that looks likely to be cancelled so this was his way of carrying on his training and continuing to raise money for the charity he supports.

Ian's marathon took 5:21:41.

He said: “We are in troubled times at present, no one can go out and do the events we normally do and raise funds for our chosen charities. The charity I raise funds for is called the NSPKU. They are a very small charity and are totally self funded, they rely on donations.

"The latest government help they issued to charities does not include us. So I needed to do something to hopefully get much needed funds to the NSPKU. I knew this would be difficult because people are struggling and all fundraising at present is going to the NHS.

"I had to at least attempt fundraising for NSPKU. They have helped my family enormously and many other people across the UK.

Even before his marathon challenge began, Ian was faced with problems after being struck down with gallstones. But after recovering, he decided to press ahead.

He said: “Abiding by government guidelines this needed to be close to home. I decided it will be extremely close to home. At no point was I further than 30 feet from my front door.

"After doing a few test runs and working out the distance it turned out I will need to do 13,100 lengths of our car park. It went from the car park entrance to the other end, round the washing line and back. All on tarmac.”

So far he’s raised over £800 for the NSPKU, which is the national charity for people living with the rare metabolic condition phenylketonuria that can lead to a number of mental health issues and seizures if untreated.

He added: “My pre-marathon ritual was the same as it was for any marathon I do, which basically means coffee and malt loaf 2 hours before the start.

"The miles passed by quickly, probably because I had many distractions to keep me entertained. At no point was this the torture I thought it would be and I can guarantee I have done many more official marathons that have been far worse than this one.”

His next task, if it still goes ahead, will be to run a six-day long marathon at the end of August from Kielder Forest to Chester called the Deadwater Ultramarathon. A distance of 235 miles – and not a washing line in sight.