A KEEN runner from Ellesmere Port wasn't deterred when the half marathon he was due to complete was cancelled last weekend – as he ran the distance in his back garden instead.

The Monsal Trail Half Marathon was due to take place on the popular former railway line near Bakewell in Derbyshire but, following Government advice due to the coronavirus, the event was cancelled leaving runners disappointed.

But it didn’t stop runner Andrew (Andy) Freeman, from Childer Thornton, from running all 13.1 miles in his back garden.

Andy marked out a route in his back garden and began lapping it up.

He said: “I wanted to prove what was possible during self-isolation and lockdown, and hopefully give other runners a laugh too in these tough times!

"And as the Monsal Trail Half was postponed and we were self-isolating as a family anyway I decided to run a half marathon around my garden instead.”

Andy ran around his garden a whopping 300 times, encouraged by his family all the way.

Andy’s wife and children were there to provide water and snacks and lots of cheering at the end.

He added: “The idea came about when my wife ran around the garden the night before and announced that 20 laps was one mile.

"I jokingly said, 'I’ll do it 260 times for my half marathon'.

"The rest of the family got involved via Whatsapp and, as I have a reputation for my bonkers ideas, I decided to go for it!”

Martin Burke, from race organisers Nice Work, was suitably impressed.

He said: "We are used to seeing our runners going the extra mile to get their running fix but Andy’s efforts are above and beyond the norm and he’s certainly earned his medal!."

Nice Work, a family business, organises some 200 running races a year, but has been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, having to call off over 50 races, with all the income now dried up.

A spokesperson added: "That said we are delighted at the supportive response we have received from our running family.

"We have created a space where runners can encourage each other during this situation - which we have done with our new virtual community chat group - https://www.facebook.com/groups/1510800015754215/ - we recognise the importance of staying in contact with our runners whilst we all ride this situation out."