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Ray Johnson will run backwards down Folkestone Leas as part of the 2.6 challenge after missing out on his 20th London Marathon

Folkestone runner Ray Johnson is making up for missing this Sunday’s marathon by running down the Leas - backwards.

Johnson was looking forward to taking part in his 20th consecutive London Marathon but that’s been rescheduled for early October because of the coronavirus crisis.

Ray Johnson completed his 19th London Marathon in a row last year
Ray Johnson completed his 19th London Marathon in a row last year

His backwards run will be over 2.6 miles after signing up for the 2.6 challenge, where marathon runners who were expecting to run 26.2 mile distance on the 26th of April have come up with other imaginative ideas to raise money for good causes.

Johnson’s first idea was to run down the Leas pushing 26 shopping trolleys with 26 bags of food to distribute to the homeless. And while Asda liked the idea, it was agreed that the timing wasn’t right.

It was followed by the backwards idea which Johnson hopes will raise a little more money, having already made over £90,000 for Kent Association for the Blind in the two decades of running marathons.

His son will be filming Sunday’s run and Johnson admits he’s not done much preparation.

“I’ve not run backwards before,” he admitted.

“I’ve not been training either and so I am going to take it easy, it’s just for fun really.”

He’s well on course to take the total raised for KAB to £100,000, bringing in £4,000 so far this year. He’s hoping to take that to £5k if they get the go-ahead to run October’s marathon.

Ray Johnson hopes to complete his 20th London marathon in October but in the meantime will be running down the Leas backwards
Ray Johnson hopes to complete his 20th London marathon in October but in the meantime will be running down the Leas backwards

He said: “The trolley run wasn’t practical with what’s going on but the backwards won should be fun. We had been going backwards in many ways recently but I think we will soon be running forwards again and the sooner the better.”

You can visit Ray’s justgiving page for the backwards run and separate marathon fundraising page.

Johnson hopes raising money now will be a big help for charities, many of whom are struggling for donations at present. The KAB are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year and they are backing the 2.6 challenge.

The 2.6 challenge is a campaign to help save the UK charities affected by loss of income. You don't have to be a marathon runner to take part, visit their website for more information.

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