When Tom Warburton's plans to train for his solo trek to the South Pole later this year were scuppered due to the coronavirus pandemic, he decided to bring the challenge home.
So the 22-year-old from Bedford managed 3,000 laps of his back garden - and raised money for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity’s (GOSH Charity) COVID-19 Emergency Appeal in the process.
And if that wasn't enough, he completed the 26.2-mile marathon whilst dragging a set of tyres weighing 13 stone – the average weight of an adult man in the UK - in 12 hours and 35 minutes.
Tom said: “I set off at 10am, and by the time I finished at 10pm it was pitch black. Luckily my mum was on hand to feed me chocolates throughout the day to keep me energised. But 3,000 laps of my garden left me totally exhausted with blisters all over my feet, and not to mention I was pretty dizzy
"I’ve never done anything like this, but what helped me push through to the end was all the support I’ve had from friends and family, and knowing I’ve smashed my fundraising target. I’m thrilled to have raised over £500 for GOSH appeal so far, and shown my support for our amazing NHS during this difficult time.”
Tom is set to be the youngest person to complete a solo trek to the South Pole later this year, which will also raise cash for GOSH. He was due to train in countries that replicate the extreme weather of his upcoming sub-zero trek but had to adapt his plans, replicating the weight of his sledge with two giant tyres.
Laura Savory, deputy director of community fundraising at Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity said: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. We’re so grateful to Tom for inventing this new, creative way of taking on an incredible challenge.
"It shows how our amazing supporters are thinking of innovative ways to raise money at home, and that individuals can make a huge difference in helping the charity support the hospital during the COVID-19 crisis. We also want to wish Tom the best of luck when he tackles the South Pole trek once the expedition has been safely rescheduled.”
To donate to Tom’s challenge visit his justgiving page here