OAK PARK, Ill. — In a world where meetings, workouts and school are all done from home, it was only a matter of time before marathons began their course.
Backyard marathoner Anton Straughan is running an entire 26.2-mile race without leaving the backyard of his suburban home Sunday.
Speaking before the race, Straughan said he was inspired in part by a man in England who did the same in order to help others during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“He literally ran back and forth 7,000 times and he raised money for the health service in England,” Straughan said. “We’re going to try and raise as much as possible for these charities.”
Straughan and his family planned out the route and brought in local sponsors from around Oak Park to chip in for the cause. The goal: $26,200, or a thousand dollars for every mile of the backyard marathon. He’s raised $17,282 as of Sunday evening, but plans to keep fundraising even after the race.
While Anton Straughan is running an entire 26.2-mile marathon, other family members plan on joining him— at least for a while. His wife is running a half marathon, followed by their kids running a 10k and 5K. They helped with fundraising as well.
“Yeah, it is a bit kinda crazy… thinking that he’ll be running around the backyard for six hours straight,” Anton’s son Jack said.
Jack said he planned on tackling a 10K in the backyard himself. All the money they raise together will go to Housing Forward and Beyond Hunger in Oak Park.
“You can bring a community together, even during this time of crisis, and raise money for a good cause,” Jack said.