On Sunday 26 April, the day on which the London Marathon had been scheduled to take place, the whole of the UK took part in the 2.6 challenge organised by Unicef on behalf of children’s charities.
As the marathon is run over 26+ miles and the date was the 26th, people challenged themselves to do things based around the number 26. Some flipped 26 pancakes or walked 2.6km inside their houses; others danced for 26 minutes or ran a virtual fashion show with 26 outfits.
One intrepid participant was Noel Glavin from Santa Fe in London. He took on the 2.6 challenge to run 2.6 miles, maintaining social distance of course, in the fastest time he could. Now for Noel, who will reach his 60th birthday on Christmas Day, that’s pretty quick. He completed the distance in just 18.08 minutes, that’s a pace of under 7-minutes/mile.
Of course, that rather gives away Noel’s athletic pedigree. In his youth he would have belted around the course in little more than 13 minutes and was a very accomplished 1,500-metre runner competing at an elite level.
In fact, The Mover’s Editor Steve Jordan used to do a bit of running in those days and was race director for an annual 10k race. It was in 1990 that Noel joined in and came a blistering second, out of a field of around 300, in a time close to 32 minutes. “That’s going some, especially around a hilly course,” Steve said. “Noel was then, and still is now, one heck of an athlete.”
Noel raised over £800 for his chosen charity, Marie Curie. “I know every charity is struggling at the moment but this one is always dear to my heart,” he said.
Noel running in Queens Park Harriers hoops at the height of his athletic prowess, in the early 1980s.
Noel competing in the 2.6 challenge, this time in Santa Fe colours.