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Former international javelin star James Campbell runs marathon in his Cheltenham back garden to raise funds for NHS

A former international athlete from Gloucestershire has spent his birthday running a marathon - adhering to social distancing by doing it in his back garden.

James Campbell, 31, completed the 26.2 mile course today [April 1] in his seven-metre-long back garden, helping raise more than £20,000 for the NHS.

James - who was a world class javelin thrower before an injury forced him to retire - completed the marathon in just over five hours, after more than 7,000 shuttles of his lawn.

He said on Twitter: "I’m blown away by the response and can’t thank you enough. Can’t believe the amount of money raise. Over £20k so far. Please keep donating for our NHS!"

The feat comes after a promise on Twitter - he'd complete the task if he got more than 10,000 retweets.

The original post has more than double that so far:

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The post quickly went viral after retweets from the likes of footballers Raheem Sterling and Michy Batshuayi.

James then set up a fundraising page to make sure his efforts would at least benefit a good cause - setting a target of £10,000 for the NHS.

The former Cheltenham Town youth player said it would give him something to do during lockdown, and was the 'stupidest' thing he could think of to kill time.

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  • James's fundraising page for the NHS can be found here.