Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Former international javelin thrower runs a marathon in his garden for the NHS

Posted on 1 April 2020 by Julia Cook

Embed from Getty Images

A visibly emotional James Campbell said he was blown away by all the support after running a marathon in his six metre long garden.

Campbell, a former international javelin thrower, provided us all with some stunning live sport after running the marathon to raise money for the NHS amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

“It’s amazing, I was choking up a bit a minute ago, it’s just unbelievable.” he said.

“Thank you so much to you guys for supporting it. The money it’s raised as well, it’s absolutely incredible.

“The fact that it’s raised some money for a good cause, it’s the only thing I wanted to do. I put myself through some suffering for that. 

“My athletics career didn’t really end as planned so this tops that by quite a way.”

The challenge started as a throw away tweet from the Scottish javelin record holder, before gaining attention from England and Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling and Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi, who wished him good luck.

Olympic medalist and athletics broadcaster Katharine Merry described the joy of watching this challenge unfold. 

“This has been the the best day that I’ve had in this pandemic and lockdown since it started, genuinely,” she said.

“I’m just transfixed watching him run up and down for such a good cause. I haven’t smiled this much since lockdown.”

Campbell, a fitness instructor and sports massage therapist from Cheltenham, has already smashed his target of raising £10,000 for the NHS, and is now aiming for £1,000 per mile.

The entire marathon was streamed via YouTube, provided by athletics broadcasting company, Vinco. On the stream was renowned athletics commentator, Alex Seftel, who was joined by a host of celebrity guests throughout the day.

Broadcaster Rob Walker, who joined the commentary team, summed up this momentous feat: “James Campbell has shown that anything is possible in any circumstance”

Campbell completed the feat in just five hours and five minutes, with viewers from Australia to Aberdeen tuning in to support him. To make the day even more incredible, today is Campbell’s birthday and what a way to spend his special day.

If you’d like to donate to this fantastic cause, his fundraising link is below –

Some of the best reactions from the day –