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Kept in by Virus, Man Runs Marathon ... on His Balcony

Weird feat took Elisha Nochomovitz almost 7 hours
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 21, 2020 9:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – In the age of confinement amid the coronavirus outbreak, Elisha Nochomovitz figured out a way to run a marathon anyway: back and forth on his balcony. That’s right—he ran 26.2 miles straight, never leaving his 23-foot-long balcony. Nochomovitz saw it as a physical and mental challenge, but he also shared the images online as a way "to extend my support to ... medical personnel who are doing an exceptional job," he told the AP from his apartment in Balma, a suburb of the French city of Toulouse. He also wanted to lighten the mood. "It was about launching a bit of a crazy challenge and bringing a bit of humor, to de-dramatize the confinement situation," he said. He didn't exactly make record time (it took him six hours and 48 minutes), he got nauseated at one point, and he was worried the neighbors would complain about the pounding of his footsteps. But he did it.

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Technically, French authorities still allow people to go outside for "individual sports" like running, if they sign a special form explaining why, but the number of joggers in French streets has multiplied in recent days amid exceptionally balmy weather. "If everyone thinks the same way and does the same thing, we'll all find ourselves outside and that won't help, and the message that we need to stay confined at home will have had no impact," said Nochomovitz, who'd been training for a marathon. He lost track of how many laps he did, but his pedometer kept track while his mind wandered. He also had a key helper: his girlfriend, "who was giving me drinks and M&Ms." Outside, some onlookers stared in confusion as he ran. And his neighbors? "They were very understanding," he said.

(Read more strange stuff stories.)

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