Seafarers UK loyal supporter to run London Marathon in his garden

April 23, 2020

Asbjorn Kops from Maersk, a loyal supporter of Seafarers UK, has decided to run the London Marathon on its original date of Sunday 26th April in his garden, despite it being postponed till October 4th this year, as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

Asbjorn has measured that each lap equates to 204 metres and is expecting to run 210 laps to take him well over the 42,195 metres of a marathon. We spoke to Asbjorn to find out more about the challenge…

What made you decide to run 26.2 miles in your back garden on the 26th April?

I usually run a marathon each springtime and I was really looking forward to running the London Marathon for the first time. When I saw the Seafarers UK Emergency Appeal I thought that we did not have time till October for fundraising – it is needed right now so I would try to do my bit.

Why were you inspired to raise funds and awareness for Seafarers UK?

I work for Maersk and we have been supporting Seafarers UK for years. Also, I have been participating in the Seafarers 24 Peaks Challenge in Lake District for the last 4 years which unfortunately has had to be cancelled this year. So raising money for Seafarers UK in some other way was important for me.

What do you think has been the hardest thing for the shipping industry following the Covid-19 outbreak?

In our industry we are used to change and volatility but the current situation is really unlike anything we have seen before in peacetime. The global impact and unpredictable nature makes it very difficult to anticipate the next steps needed to service our customers while also keeping our cost under control.

What are you most looking forward to about the challenge?

It will be a very memorable day which I am certain that I will not regret committing to while some of the other marathons I have run will fade away in my memory. This one is unique.

What do you think will be the hardest part of your challenge? 

I think it will be pretty dull running the same lap 210 times without the public cheering like at normal marathons. It will be tempting to take a break and have a snack but I will need to treat this as any other marathon and keep at it so that my legs do not lock up. Due to the route being very windy and curvy it will not be a new personal best time but I aim to do it in about 4 hours.

Who will be cheering you on during your challenge?

I am counting on my wife and daughter to take care of that, and maybe some of our neighbours over the fence. And like any other marathon there will be music along the route… I will put my daughter’s party speaker in the garden with a playlist of samba and other styles of the bands that tend to line a marathon route.

Do you have any plans for how you will celebrate your achievement at home?

I usually have a beer after a marathon. And an afternoon nap. After that I will write a message to thank all those who have supported Seafarers UK and my project. The generosity of people and their willingness to support good charities is really amazing.

We are extremely grateful to Asbjorn for his continual support of Seafarers UK and wish him all the very best for Sunday. You can donate to Asbjorn’s challenge following the link below: