LOCAL running group Poole Runners have decided to channel their isolation frustrations into running marathons in their gardens.

On April 5, around 70 members of the group plus a near 200 members of the public will be running a variety of distances around their garden to raise money for the Poole Hospital Charity.

With the cancellation of the Poole Festival of Running, Poole Runners member Colin Somers was inspired to raise vital funds with an alternative method.

He explained: "I saw a marathon being ran on a balcony on the news and I wondered if that could be done in my garden. My fellow runners liked the idea and we set up the challenge.

"It's absolutely key we have a bit of a challenge to do, everyone needs a goal to work towards."

Colin will be running a 'Garden Marathon', a total of 550 laps around his garden.

Despite being a runner for 10 years, Colin has never run a marathon quite like this before.

He said: "I'm looking forward to it, but I am slightly nervous. I have been training for the Manchester Marathon over the winter, but I will be plodding around my garden. I'm not setting any goals."

However, not all members of the group plan to run their marathon.

Poole Runners Chairman Sarah Swift will be alternating between her trampoline and treadmill to raise money for Poole Hospital Charity.

For Colin, having fun and bringing the community together is at the heart of the challenge.

He explained: "This is a really positive community event. I am really chuffed that people want to take part. Some people are currently unable to do what they love, so I feel very fortunate to be able to do this."

The original target was within the £200 bracket, but that total has already been surpassed and currently stands at over £1000.

Colin added: "We are aware that people are struggling financially at the moment so any pennies would be brilliant."

If you would like to join The Garden Marathon Challenge or donate some spare change to Poole Hospital Charity in support of the runners, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gardenmarathon