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Walderslade woman runs London Marathon in own back garden to raise money for animal charity

A mum of three has taken on the mammoth task of running an entire cancelled marathon in her own back yard.

Lisa Bacon, 45, from Walderslade had planned on running the London Marathon this Sunday but the event was postponed due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Watch mother of three, Lisa complete marathon in her own back garden.

It would have been her fifth attempt at the mass fundraising event and her 13th time taking on the distance overall.

The teaching assistant found it amusing that this number, considered unlucky for some, was to be her stumbling block.

But the mum of three remained determined to find a way around it, knowing that many charities – including her own, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) – depend on donations.

She said: "I knew that when Sunday came around, it would be a difficult day, knowing we should have all been in London on behalf of so many amazing charities.

Lisa Bacon marked out a course around the entire perimeter of her house
Lisa Bacon marked out a course around the entire perimeter of her house

"So I thought, why not do it anyway? I mapped out the course in my garden using a running app."

Lisa worked out it would take her roughly 350 laps to complete but after a 5K dummy run had to make some amendments to the "track", which stretched the whole perimeter of the house.

She set off at 7am and was cheered on by husband Mat, her three kids and neighbours peering over the fence as she ran round the garden.

Something she said proved no easy task, adding: "It seemed like such a good idea at the time but about half way through I was thinking what was I doing."

However, the sight of being greeted by her own children with a marathon medal and cupcakes at the finish made it a "fantastic day".

"I had friends pass by the house on their daily walks to offer encouragement and my family were passing on messages of support," she said. "It really lifted all of our spirits, although 350 laps and 1,400 right turns has left me a bit achy!”

Lisa and her family after the run on Sunday
Lisa and her family after the run on Sunday

Lisa, who is part of the Medway Runners Wolfpack, finished the feat of 26.2 miles in just under four hours.

She described the course as unlike anything she has run before, and will be opting to take on the real thing when it is rescheduled to go ahead in October.

"It was not awful – If if really had to I would run it again," she said. "We have a nice track now although I'm not sure my husband would be too fond."

As a volunteer at an animal rehoming centre and an owner of two cats and two dogs herself, Lisa elected to raise funds for the IFAW.

Thanks to plenty of donations she has now surpassed her fundraising total of £1500, raising just under £2,000.

James Sawyer, UK Director of IFAW, said: “Lisa’s determination to complete the London Marathon in her garden is a testament to her passion for animals and their welfare.

A medal was crafted for Lisa for completing the feat
A medal was crafted for Lisa for completing the feat

"This is a difficult time, for both people and animals, but with support from people like Lisa, we’re able to continue our work to protect communities, animals and the places we call home around the world.”

You can donate to Lisa's London Marathon fundraising efforts here.

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