May 27, 2020
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British man runs marathon in tiny backyard during lockdown

Jacob King | AP
Jacob King | AP
James Campbell runs a charity marathon to raise funds for the NHS, in his garden, while the country is in lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus, in Cheltenham, England, Wednesday April 1, 2020. The former international athlete is spending his birthday running - in his seven-metre-long back garden - and will take over 7,000 shuttles back and forth to finish the 26.2-mile marathon. (Jacob King/PA via AP)

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CHELTENHAM, England — Being stuck at home didn’t stop a British man from running an outdoor marathon.

James Campbell, a former professional javelin thrower, spent his 32nd birthday on Wednesday doing 6-meter (20-foot) shuttles from one end of his small backyard to the other after promising to run a marathon if one of his Twitter messages received 10,000 retweets.

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By the time Campbell completed the marathon in just over five hours, he had raised more than 18,000 pounds ($22,000) for Britain’s National Health Service to help battle the coronavirus pandemic.

The effort — labeled the #6metregardenmarathon — was live-streamed, with former England soccer great Geoff Hurst among the viewers. Neighbors poked their heads over the backyard fence to give Campbell encouragement.

Campbell ran across a patch of grass, some stones and a small patio in 6-meter (20-foot) stretches. He calculated he would have to traverse his yard at least 7,000 times to reach 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles).

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