Tom Loe Great Garden Marathon For The NHS

Tom Loe’s Great Garden Run digs deep for the NHS

Tom Loe had a number of objectives when he created the 'Great Garden Run for the NHS'. He wanted to show his gratitude for the efforts of NHS workers, raise funds for NHS charities and re-direct people from parks to their back gardens. He succeeded on all fronts with his 'event' on Saturday (11 April).

Easter is normally a busy time with many of us heading outdoors. Coronavirus changed all that in 2020 as we were urged to stay at home and in lockdown. Thomas (Tom) Loe responded to that situation with a plan to capitalise on the anticipated good weather, inviting people to make good use of their gardens for their daily exercise and raise money for NHS staff.

Tom's idea was the ‘Great Garden Run for the NHS’ where participants had the choice of running or walking one lap, 10 laps or depending upon the size of their gardens – as many as 500 laps. His goal was to encourage as many people as possible to run laps around their front or back gardens and in doing so, reduce the numbers who would visit parks that weekend.

He set up a JustGiving page, created a Facebook Group and Strava Group and asked everyone to publicise this event via other platforms. They were also asked to donate £1 to the NHS.

At 6.30am on a sunny Saturday morning Tom began his garden marathon on a course he had marked out the previous day. Each lap was 100 metres or 0.06 miles and he completed 437 of these, totalling 26.2 miles in a time of 5:01:18.

While Tom expected this to challenge him mentally as well as physically what surprised him was, in his own words:”The inspiration it gave to people. Some wanted to try it themselves and run a few laps in their garden whereas others were inspired to donate.”

To date, Tom has raised £600 for NHS Charities Together.

Image courtesy of Tom Loe

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