Marathon in the garden – the story and the interview with Tara

Tara Twyman should have been running London Marathon on Sunday but obviously it could not go ahead this year.

She told Uckfield FM:

“Rather than sit at home wishing I was running, I decided to run the marathon on a treadmill in our back garden and still raise some money for the Yoga Mission – an incredible charity founded and run by a dear friend which provides education, shelter and security to disabled and disadvantaged children and women in Varanasi, India.

“I’ll be honest, I thought it would be horrific, but my amazing family brought the event alive for me by recreating the whole London experience, from the queues for the portaloos at the start to the iconic landmarks en route, and there was even a foil blanket, a medal and finisher’s photo at the finish! I have been lucky enough to run the London marathon 4 times before, and about 35 marathons in total and I can honestly say this was one of the most fun!

“My 7 year old son Leo played a large part in making all this happen, and while I was plodding along he was zipping round the garden on his bike, clocking up the miles of his own cycling marathon! So far (Tuesday) he’s up to 10 miles, and he aims to complete the 26.2 mile marathon distance by this Sunday, 3rd May.

“Leo would love other children (and adults) to join in too so we have created Leo’s Lockdown Challenge. The challenge is to run or cycle (or walk, skip, crawl etc) as far as you can (in a safe lockdown style of course) by Sunday 3rd of May. To take part just donate to his justgiving page (we suggest £2.62), and you’ll receive a special Lockdown Challenge medal by email to print out, colour in and wear with pride!

“Yoga Mission was founded by a friend of mine, Lucy Guest. They, like everyone, have been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and are in desperate need of funds. 5 years ago I ran 8 marathons in 8 days for the same charity and raised £10 000 which allowed them to open a kindergarten catering for 45 children. This is still going strong and they have been adding a class each year as the children travel up the school. It’s incredibly rewarding to be involved with such a small charity and to see directly what our fundraising can achieve. We hope that we can make a difference to many vulnerable children’s lives whilst having fun and making a difference to our own.”

To support Tara or Leo you can donate at or


This was the queue for the toilets before the start – not as long as usual!

The start – announced by a shark with a megaphone… It wasn’t too congested, so I was able to get a good start…

But there’s ALWAYS someone dressed in a full body fancy dress costume going faster than you!

I passed all the major landmarks including Cutty Sark at 6.5 miles and Tower Bridge at 12.5.

Enthusiastic crowd at the half way point!

At 14 miles the treadmill broke! So I resigned myself to laps of the garden and the woods at the end of our road. Passed Canary Wharf at 18.5 miles cheered on by a drumming band.

Followed by The Tower of London at 23 miles. Outstanding support from the crowd.

After passing the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben at 25.5 miles, I turned the corner, passed Buckingham Palace and onto the Mall. Flanked by my boys (aged 3 and 7) on their bikes, I ran the last half mile around our cul de sac and then to the finishing line. Which was made of loo roll in a fitting tribute to these dark times.

At the finish I was delighted to receive my medal…

…as well as a foil blanket and a banana! No detail spared!