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Young showjumper swaps riding boots for trainers in marathon lockdown challenge

While we’re all stuck in lockdown for the foreseeable future, young showjumper Olli Fletcher has put all his unexpected spare time to excellent use in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for World Horse Welfare.

The 17-year-old would normally be out competing on a regular basis at this time of year — and was due to be heading abroad this month — but now the keen runner has decided to ramp up his training regime and has set himself an impressive challenge to run his first ever half-marathon (just over 21 km or 13 miles) on 1 February, in the countryside near his Oxfordshire home.

“I’ve always wanted to do a marathon — I like running and at shows I go running nearly every day,” Olli told H&H.

“But as I don’t have too much to do at the moment, I thought now would be a really good time to start.”

Olli has gradually upped his training to meet his goal of running a half-marathon and says he is loving swapping riding boots for his runing shoes.

“Sometimes I would set off to run one block round where I live and end up running round three times — I just keep on going!” he says.
“I have my music on and it just frees your mind a bit. I feel great after, too, so I’m sure it’s all beneficial.”

Olli has set up a JustGiving page where people can donate and he is already halfway towards his target of raising £2,000 for and awareness of World Horse Welfare.

Continues below…



With just over a week to go, how is the wannabe Mo Farah feeling ahead of the big day, when he’ll be pounding the local tracks round his house?

“I did 18km earlier this week, so it feels as if it is going OK so far,” he said. “So I could nearly do it tomorrow but hopefully there’s still enough time to raise a bit more money.

“It’s a charity that means a lot to me — horses put their heart and soul into what they do for us and expect nothing in return so I thought it would be nice to try to give them something back.”

Next stop, the London Marathon? Just keep on running Olli!

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