British Army Officers confined to barracks due to the coronavirus crisis are running their own London Marathon every day for a week, in the garden of their Officers’ Mess in Bulford.
The officers, who all serve in the Household Cavalry Regiment, have even recreated London’s iconic landmarks in a light-hearted attempt to make their “London” Marathon more like the real thing.
The London Marathon is the largest fundraising event in the world, annually attracting 40,000 runners and a crowd of over 750,000 spectators. Millions more watch on television.
Each year, more than £60 million is raised by those taking part in the London Marathon for important causes, often close to the hearts of those running.
The idea to run their own marathon every day in the garden of their Bulford Mess came about after Lt Rufus Camm, a Troop Leader in D Squadron, HCR, missed out on his opportunity to run the real London Marathon after the event was postponed until October at the earliest due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Instead, Lt Camm and his fellow officers decided to each run the distance of the London Marathon every day for a week. They started this week with the last runner due to complete his 282 laps of the garden on Saturday afternoon.
The officers decided to support Lt Camm’s original London Marathon charity, Children with Cancer UK, as they each undertake the gruelling 26.2 mile course in their Mess garden.
Children with Cancer UK exists to provide vital support to the 4,500 victims of childhood cancer in the UK each year. The charity aims to determine the causes, find cures and provide care to those affected.
Lt Camm, 28, had been trying to secure a place in the London Marathon for years. He said:
“I’d been putting my name in the ballot for years, and finally got a space at this year’s event. But that was before coronavirus.
“I mentioned it to my colleagues, and they were really keen to support the charity.”
Lt Camm and his fellow officers have set a fundraising target of £3,000. But those who think the course will be easier than the real route on the streets of London, might want to think again.
“Part of the garden is on a hill. By the time the guys have completed the 282 laps, their legs will be sore. I did my marathon in the garden yesterday, and today I am aching.
“The other officers and I are really happy to be supporting such an important cause.”
Lt Camm is living in the Mess for the duration of the coronavirus lockdown due to his girlfriend, Amy, working as a doctor at UCL Hospital, London. Amy is carrying out vital work treating those struck down with the disease and the couple have not been together in person for over a month.
Other officers are living in due to having elderly parents at home, or those at a greater risk of becoming seriously ill due to coronavirus.
The regiment has posted pictures of the officers’ garden marathon efforts on its Instagram and Facebook pages, resulting in many supporters and former members of the regiment expressing their well wishes to Lt Camm and his fellow officers.
You can support Lt Camm and the other officers of the Household Cavalry Regiment as they run the distance of the London Marathon each day this week, by sponsoring them on their Virgin Giving fundraising page.