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Hope academic on the spot for marathon challenge

A weary-legged Liverpool Hope University academic has just run a full marathon - on the spot and in the comfort of his home - to raise money for charity. 

It’s tough enough covering the 26 mile plus distance when you’re able to move in a natural motion.. 

But due to current Coronavirus restrictions, Associate Professor Stephen Kelly instead spent four hours running on the spot to recreate the marathon experience - a feat which understandably took its toll on his calf muscles! 

He was joined in the challenge by fellow Hope academics Dr Anthony Cawley, Senior Lecturer in Media, and Associate Professor of History Bryce Evans, who each ran for 30 minute slots, too, as well as being joined by family and friends. 

And after the event was broadcast around the world via online streaming, the team has already managed to raise more than £1,400 in donations. 

That money will go to the respected Dublin Simon Community, a charity that works to provide housing, addiction treatment and emergency response to homeless people in Ireland. 

Stephen, Associate Professor of History and Politics at Hope, explains: “The Simon Community cares for some of the most vulnerable people in society. 

“And given the current Coronavirus crisis, government resources are being allocated elsewhere while fundraising has also taken a bit of a hit. 

“The Dublin Simon Community made an appeal for help, and as a team we decided to try and do our bit. We’re all grateful the idea really took off.”

Stephen is no stranger to running. 

He’s completed several marathons and half marathons in the past and runs most days. 

But jogging while stationary added a whole new degree of difficulty 

He reveals: “The important thing to say here is that it’s not just about me - there were lots of friends and family who took part in the challenge, too. 

“I ran for the full four hours inside my home, Anthony ran outside for 30 minutes, while Bryce ran on the spot for 30 minutes indoors. 

“Meanwhile my uncle used a treadmill and my wife, Jenny, not only helped to organise the fundraiser but she ran the equivalent of a half marathon, too. 

“To my horror, I discovered that it’s actually much harder running on the spot than it is outside. 

“My calf muscles took a beating. I’ll be honest, the following day I could barely walk! I was literally almost bedridden as I was using muscles I simply hadn’t used before. 

“It was hurting after just half an hour... but I knew I had to keep going. 

“What I’m really proud of is that it turned into a truly global event, with participants and viewers in places like Ireland, Liverpool, Birmingham and even South Africa.

“I’d also like to thank everyone who has donated so far - particularly all those from the Hope community who have supported us.”

If you’d like to donate, the JustGiving link is still live - which you can access here.

Published on 22/04/2020