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Supermarket worker’s four-marathon lockdown feat for children with cancer

PUBLISHED: 16:33 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 17:04 05 May 2020

Supermarket worker Richard Ossitt, who has set himself the target of running the equivalent of four marathons in aid of Children with Cancer UK.
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Supermarket worker Richard Ossitt, who has set himself the target of running the equivalent of four marathons in aid of Children with Cancer UK. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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A supermarket worker whose plan to run four marathons in the space of six weeks was scuppered by the coronavirus outbreak has put his gruelling training programme to good use, by running the equivalent distance around the car parks, fields and seafront of his home town.

Richard Ossitt, pictured in front of Cromer pier after completing his second of four 26.2-mile runs.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLRichard Ossitt, pictured in front of Cromer pier after completing his second of four 26.2-mile runs. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Richard Ossitt, 32, had aimed to run the Manchester Marathon, the Brighton Marathon and the London Marathon in April, followed by the inaugural Norfolk Mammoth Marathon, which was due to take place on May 17.

But, with the country on lockdown, all four events were called off, leaving Mr Ossitt, who works at Morrisons, Cromer, worrying that his fundraising, and training efforts would go to waste.

Richard Ossitt, pictured on Cromer seafront after completing his first of four 26.2-mile runs.
Photo: KAREN BETHELLRichard Ossitt, pictured on Cromer seafront after completing his first of four 26.2-mile runs. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Keen to help Children with Cancer UK - which he supported to the tune of £3,500 by running last year’s London Marathon - he mapped out a route for each of the events he had planned to complete.

“I got the emails through one after the other saying the marathons had been postponed and I just felt it was something I had to do,” he said.

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Kicking off with the Manchester Marathon on April 4, Mr Ossitt ran 23 miles around his usual training route along the seafront and round the outskirts of Cromer, but, with 3.2 miles still to cover, he resorted to running around a town centre car park.

“I had to make the time up, but realised I couldn’t keep that up for nearly four miles, so I ended up running round the town centre, which was quite tricky as, because of social distancing, I had to keep crossing the road,” he explained.

After finishing in a time of three hours and 57 minutes, he immediately began gearing up for his next two runs – a substitute Brighton Marathon on April 17 and a replacement London Marathon just a week later.

“I have to admit that, after the first one, I was a bit shocked at how hard it was, but I put ice packs on my legs and ate lots of fruit and veg – I was determined to do it,” he said.

Now training for his final run on May 17, Mr Ossitt says that although he has been forced to cancel a string of fundraising events, including a pub quiz and a static bike ride, he is pleased to have raised more than £400 for Children with Cancer UK.

“Work has been strange and not being able to see friends has been difficult, so, as well as supporting a very worthy cause, running has been a chance for me to get away from it all,” he said.

To support Mr Ossitt, visit uk.virginmoneygiving/RickyOssitt


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