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Woman runs marathon by lapping apartment more than 700 times

PUBLISHED: 15:50 27 April 2020 | UPDATED: 16:28 27 April 2020

Gemma Aylen loves to run in her spare time, and has now completed five marathons in total. Photo: Gemma Aylen

Gemma Aylen loves to run in her spare time, and has now completed five marathons in total. Photo: Gemma Aylen

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Rather than let her training for the London Marathon go to waste, a casino manager and avid runner did 704 laps of her Fleggburgh apartment - completing 26.2 miles in the weekend sun.

Gemma Aylen lapping her Fleggburgh apartment in place of the London Marathon. Photo: James Carass of Lamech Lifts LTD, who also recorded the Facebook Live videos.Gemma Aylen lapping her Fleggburgh apartment in place of the London Marathon. Photo: James Carass of Lamech Lifts LTD, who also recorded the Facebook Live videos.

Gemma Aylen, 32, is a manager at the Grosvenor Casino in Great Yarmouth, but also enjoys marathon running on the side.

She was due to run the London Marathon on April 26 for the Carer’s Trust, which is the casino’s charity of choice.

But since the marathon was postponed for safety reasons, her partner challenged her to do it from home instead.

She said: “I opted for the difficulties of navigating hard floors and sharp corners to encourage even more donations from members of the public - which worked.

“Before yesterday, I had £2,100 in donations, but on Sunday we raised a further £500 as people tuned into my Facebook live videos of the event.

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“It was definitely the hardest marathon I’ve ever done. There was no change of scenery and nobody cheering me on except my partner and his son.

“The pavement was so harsh on my joints - I had to keep rotating direction every so often to take some of the pressure off one side.

Gemma Aylen tracking her laps through Strava - an app used by many runners for distance tracking. Photo: Gemma AylenGemma Aylen tracking her laps through Strava - an app used by many runners for distance tracking. Photo: Gemma Aylen

“When it came to the last few miles, I was so disoriented I had no idea what was going on.

“But my partner, James, did the last two miles with me for the final push, and his son Noah ran a few laps with me throughout the day to keep me going.”

As well as 704 laps, Ms Aylen ran around a total of 2,816 corners, and completed the whole thing in five hours and two minutes - her slowest time yet.

Ms Aylen’s sister, Danielle, said she “couldn’t be prouder” of her sister for what she had achieved.

Gemma Aylen loves to run in her spare time, and has now completed five marathons in total. Photo: Gemma AylenGemma Aylen loves to run in her spare time, and has now completed five marathons in total. Photo: Gemma Aylen

Although the Carer’s Trust was the chosen recipient of the casino’s fundraising long before lockdown or the coronavirus pandemic, Ms Aylen said that it seemed even more important to go ahead given their key role in this crisis.

“My team have been furloughed but everyone from across the company was supporting me, sending messages throughout the day and helping spur me on,” she said.


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