WHEN heavy snow threatened to put the freeze on Hawick News reporter Gavin Gibbon’s marathon challenge, local gym Think Fitness stepped in to save the day.
The 32-year-old, who is aiming to complete 12 marathons in 12 months in aid of The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, was due to kick off proceedings on Sunday in Gloucester.
But when the blizzards arrived throughout Wales and South West England the event was cancelled last Friday morning.
That was when Think Fitness stepped in. Co-owner Stuart Oliver said: “Gavin had been talking about it during the week and he said there was a chance it could be called off.
“There was no guarantee that the weather wouldn’t be the same up here on Sunday so we offered him the chance to complete his first marathon on a treadmill.”
And it was a challenge he readily accepted, tackling 26.2 miles in four hours 55 minutes.
Gavin said: “The longest I’d run on a treadmill was for an hour and I knew it would be tough going, but I wanted to get the first marathon done.
“It was a big disappointment that Gloucester was cancelled but I felt this was a different challenge, probably more difficult.
“Towards the end it was torture but I was really grateful for all the support I had, the encouragement I received was unbelievable.”
A surprise addition to the support team was Common-Riding stalwart Bernie Armstrong.
The 49-year-old had already agreed to run the Manchester Marathon in April but tackled the treadmill and went the distance to also complete the 26.2 miles. Gavin added: “I can’t thank Bernie enough for sticking with me the whole way, it was a great effort and he should be mighty proud.”
A collection bucket during the challenge raised £80.
The next marathon is the Belvoir Challenge on February 23 in Melton Mowbray.
For more information visit www.justgiving.com/marathonsforsophie