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'42.2 km in 42 hrs': Over 10,000 people worldwide join Australia’s fitness challenge to overcome coronavirus blues

The Lum family actively promotes marathons amongst Australia's community. Source: Supplied

Jo and Shannon Lum have initiated a marathon challenge to promote physical fitness amongst people locked up at home up due to the coronavirus restrictions. Their Facebook page, ‘42.2 km in 42 hrs,’ has attracted supporters from over 50 countries in a fortnight.

In precisely two weeks, over 10,000 people from 53 countries have joined this Facebook group started by an Australian couple to promote physical fitness amongst people locked indoors due to the coronavirus.

Titled ‘42.2 km in 42 hrs’, this marathon challenge – quite literally – that starts today at 6 pm and ends on May 3 at 12 noon, has attracted a significant number of people from Australia’s Indian community.

The theme of the marathon, 'We are all in this together', is engraved on the Finisher medal that will be given to those who successfully complete the marathon.

“This challenge was pioneered by our friends Jo and Shannon Lum, who are Athletics Australia run coaches in Sydney. These days, we are all locked up indoors which is decreasing people’s physical fitness and is increasing unpleasant arguments at home for many. A marathon run can help with both,” says Ranjit Singh Khera, an avid marathon runner based in Sydney.

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Ranjit Singh Khera flanked by Satnam and Kulwinder Bajwa after a marathon.
Supplied

This group was started on Facebook by the Lum couple on April 17, through which they wish to motivate people to get out of their comfort zone and clock 42.2 km – the globally accepted distance of a marathon – in 42 hours starting today.

“You can go at your own pace as a solo runner or you can do it in a team of two or three. In a team, you don’t have to run together. You can run at different times and also split those kilometers up. We are also promoting this event amongst families -- you can go and have your walk together and clock up the 42 km in 42 hours,” says Mr Lum.

He adds that out of the 10,784 members who have joined the group till now, nearly 3,000 are from overseas.

Mr Khera, who claims to have 35 years of running practice, says that he is joined by “many committed marathoners including women, children and seniors” from the Indian community.

medal
The Finisher medal of the marathon.
Supplied

“Our group actively seeks to put women in a leadership role in conducting marathons. That’s our way of promoting fitness amongst Indian families. We are happy the Lums have started this challenge in which our group can bring their families,” adds Mr Khera who is joined by his friends Satnam and Kulwinder Bajwa in promoting marathon running amongst Sydney’s Indian community.

Upon completion of the 42.2 km, runners can upload proof of their participation on the running app Strava, or post screenshots of their fitness devices like Garmin on the 42.2 km in 42 hrs Facebook page. Prizes like running shoes and packets of healthy food are also up for grabs.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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