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Priest to run charity marathon on treadmill as part of service

24 April 2020

The Revd Edd Stock

A PRIEST in south-east London will be donning his trainers on Sunday to complete a charity marathon on a treadmill in his parish office. The event will be streamed live, and the start will be included at the opening of his online morning service.

The Priest-in-Charge of Holy Trinity, Sydenham and Forest Hill, in Southwark diocese, the Revd Edd Stock, said: “My wife, Katie, thinks I am mad.” Although he is a keen runner, he says that his training for the run — on the day originally set for the now-cancelled London Marathon — has not been perfect. “As a result, quite a lot of things are still up in the air about how it is going to go,” he said. “I do jogging, but I haven’t been putting in the miles I should.

K. T. Lamb‘It’s OK: I’m on the home run!’

“It was almost impossible to find a treadmill in a gym or to hire. There is a run on running machines at the moment — everyone wants one. I ended up going to Gumtree. Running on the treadmill is completely different to running outside. There are parts of my body that are aching that I didn’t realise would be affected, and I have suffered vertigo and felt sick when I got off the machine.”

But he hopes to improve on his only previous attempt on the 26.2-mile event, in 2016, when he started the London Marathon less than 24 hours after suffering from food poisoning. “I ran about 15 miles and my body just collapsed,” he said. “I walked the rest. It took over five hours, and was horrendous.” Yet he still managed to raise more than £3000 for Christian Aid.

This time, his fund-raising target is £26,200 — £1000 for every mile of the run — to support disadvantaged families affected by the pandemic. He is working with Lewisham Citizens, an alliance of faith, education, charity, and community organisations, to provide food, internet access, and emergency help.

His run is due to start at 10 a.m. His wife, who is an ordinand at St Mellitus, will be in one room of his home leading the service on Zoom; he will be in his office next door, with his machine set up in front of an open window. “Anyone going past for their hour-long walk of the day can see me,” he said. “My bishop will call in around 11.30, and I have friends from the US and all over the world dropping in later — if I can still speak at that stage.

“Hopefully, I shall be really spurred on with people really pushing me, and this time I shall finish the last bit well.”

Donations can be made at justgiving.com/fundraising/lewisham-citizens.

To watch the run live, visit facebook.com/HolyTrinitySydenhamForestHill.

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