Runner completes marathon without leaving his garden in hope of fundraising £18,000 for the NHS

A runner has completed over 918 laps of his Hebburn garden in a lockdown marathon effort which has sparked a major online fundraiser.
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Neil Parker hopes to raise £18,000 – the starting wage of a nurse – to donate to the NHS Charities Together during it’s fight against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The avid runner completed his first ever 26.2 mile run without leaving the safety of his own garden.

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And his inspirational effort saw the 42-year-old make more than 918 laps and completed his marathon attempt in four hours and 45 minutes.

Neil Parker ran a whole marathon without leaving his gardenNeil Parker ran a whole marathon without leaving his garden
Neil Parker ran a whole marathon without leaving his garden

“I decided I wanted to do something to try and raise money and help,” said Neil, who lives in Hebburn with his wife Claire Parker.

“I thought I’m okay at running I’ll attempt to run a marathon in my garden and raise money for the NHS.

“I have a friend from back where I’m originally from near Hemel Hempstead, she works in intensive care.

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“I spoke to her and she was saying how tough it was, they’re having to make life or death decisions.

Neil has already raised more than £2,000Neil has already raised more than £2,000
Neil has already raised more than £2,000

“She’s doing 16 hour shifts and sadly people are just dying.

“Compared to what the NHS are doing, running a marathon is such a small thing.”

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In a matter of days, a Just Giving page for Neil - set up by ACAS work colleague Daniella Botto – has raised more than £2,000.

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Neil says he chose to aim for £18,000 to show the starting wage for the people who are working tirelessly to help others during this crisis – and putting their own health at risk.

Neil, who is a national operations manager at ACAS, has run a number of 10km races and had signed up to the Great North Run later this year but has never completed a marathon.

“I measured it all out but one of the hardest things was keeping count, every time I wasn’t sure if I’d ran a lap I did it again so in the end I actually ran about 28/29 miles,” said Neil.

“I’m amazed at how much has been donated so far – it just shows how we’re all coming together and supporting the NHS.”

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