A marathon run by the whole neighbourhood

Matt Thomas completes his neighbourhood marathon
Image from Matt Thomas
Head shot of Tania Steere.  She is smiling, with long, wavy blonde hair
by Tania Steere
27 April 2020

One neighbourhood decided the marathon could still go ahead – if they divided it between themselves and each ran a mile round the block to raise money for charity.

Virgin Atlantic pilot Matt Thomas had spent months training for the Virgin Money London Marathon and was disappointed that he wouldn’t be able to raise money for charity.

He was on his weekly virtual pub quiz on Zoom with his neighbours in Weybridge and asked them how many laps of his garden they thought it would take to run a marathon.

Matt said: “My garden is rather small but I thought it could be fun to share it out and do a mile each running round the neighbourhood.”

They only had three days to organise the challenge as they wanted to it take place on the day the Virgin Money London Marathon should have taken place.

All his neighbours got on board and 25 families on his street ran two laps of the neighbourhood on April 26th to make up the 26.2 mile marathon for the 2.6 challenge.Matt said: “I’m in awe of my neighbours, it was such a fantastic day, we have the best street in the world.”

Matt is raising money for Children with Cancer UK, and has already doubled his fundraising target.  

He added: “These are really worrying times for everyone – especially for charities - and it’s great to still be able to give Children with Cancer UK our support. It’s also really lovely seeing our whole neighbourhood come together to support charities and show we can still have a bit of fun even while being socially distant and apart from each other. It was such an incredible atmosphere.” 

More than 44,000 runners were due to take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon. It has been postponed until Sunday 4th October 2020

The fundraising feats have continued and more than six million has been raised for charity so far. 

You can find out more about Matt’s challenge over on his Virgin Money Giving page. Virgin Money Giving is a not-for-profit organisation and has waived all fees during the coronavirus lockdown.