Bolton Wanderers press officer runs marathon in living room for charity

By Jay FreemanBBC Sport
Watch: Bolton Wanderers press officer runs marathon in living room for charity

As coronavirus lockdown restrictions continue to be enforced, Bolton Wanderers' head of marketing and communications - and keen runner - Paul Holliday had to think on his feet after his plan to raise money for charity by running a series of marathons had to be abandoned.

His solution? Running a full 26-mile marathon in his own living room.

Holliday, who has been furloughed during the crisis, streamed his efforts on social media on Wednesday as he ran 4,500 laps of his front room.

"I must confess that after the first couple of laps, the size of the task in front of me made me feel a bit daunted," he admitted to BBC Sport.

"But once I got into my groove I had no further doubts or issues.

"I had done a trial mile in my living room just over a week ago to see what it would be like and I felt dizzy after that.

"But I prepared well over the past couple of days by eating and hydrating well so I knew I'd have the energy to get this done."

Doubling his target

Holliday, whose daughter Isabella has Down's Syndrome and ADHD, had planned to run three marathons this year in order to raise money for High Five, a Lancashire-based charity his wife and a friend set up to support the families of children with disabilities.

When the pandemic led to his outdoor runs being cancelled, however, Holliday pressed on with his aim to continue fundraising and streamed his indoor marathon to thousands via his Twitter account.

So far, he has raised over £2,000 - double his original target.

"I've been overwhelmed by the support of everyone; family, friends, colleagues and especially people who I've never met," he said.

"To be so generous during these uncertain times shows how kind-hearted people can be and I'm truly grateful."

Carpet 'unscathed'

But, having finished in a time of four hours 38 minutes, how was he physically and what was the state of the living room?

"The carpet, quite miraculously, is unscathed. There aren't any signs of wear and tear but we've been wanting to replace it for years. I plan to do a couple more indoor marathons before the outdoor marathons resume so we will wait until after I've done them," he said.

"Apart from the standard blisters all long-distance runners get, my shoulders ached a bit afterwards because I touched the wall after each lap. I even managed a walk later in the day to cool down as I didn't fancy an ice bath. Not that I've got that amount of ice in the freezer!"

Holliday is not the only runner to go the distance in his own home since the lockdown started.

Scottish javelin record holder James Campbell completed a marathon in his back garden to raise money for the NHS, Darlington Magalela completed a half marathon in his garden and driveway, while Ben Blowes ran a whopping 50 miles in his backyard.

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