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Confined by virus, Frenchman runs marathon on his balcony

(Photo for representation purpose only): A man jogs along the beach promenade in Biarritz, southwestern France, Friday, March 20, 2020. French citizens are only allowed to leave their homes for necessary activities such as shopping for food, going to work or taking a quick walk due to the rapid spreading of the new coronavirus in the country. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems.

(Photo for representation purpose only): A man jogs along the beach promenade in Biarritz, southwestern France, Friday, March 20, 2020. French citizens are only allowed to leave their homes for necessary activities such as shopping for food, going to work or taking a quick walk due to the rapid spreading of the new coronavirus in the country. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems.   | Photo Credit: AP

Nochomovitz had been training for a marathon, and said “I needed to assure myself that I could still run 40 km whatever the condition.”

In the age of confinement, Elisha Nochomovitz figured out a way to run a marathon anyway back and forth on his balcony.

That’s right. He ran 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) straight, never leaving his 7-meter-long (23-foot) balcony.

Like athletes who ran around their Wuhan apartments or cyclists who found ways to train in their locked-down Abu Dhabi hotel rooms, Nochomovitz wanted to show others that it’s possible to stay fit as virus containment measures tighten around the world.

But he did it.

Technically the French authorities still allow people to go outside for “individual sports” like running, if they sign a special form explaining why.

But the number of joggers in French streets has multiplied in recent days, amid exceptionally balmy weather. And that has authorities worried that too many people are still out in the streets, threatening efforts to contain the virus.

"If everyone thinks the same way and does the same thing, we’ll all find ourselves outside and that won’t help anything, and the message that we need to stay confined at home will have had no impact,” he said.

Nochomovitz had been training for a marathon, and said “I needed to assure myself that I could still run 40 km whatever the condition.”

"I thought about many things, what’s going to happen, when I see that the world has stopped, sports, economy, finance,” he said. “We learned in history about wars between nations, men and weapons, but this is something that is beyond us.”

And he had a key helper. “I had my girlfriend here who was giving me drinks and M&Ms.”

Outside, some onlookers stared in confusion.

And his neighbors? “They were very understanding.”

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 11:56:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/confined-by-virus-frenchman-runs-marathon-on-his-balcony/article31133466.ece

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