Owensboro runner completes backyard marathon to promote social distancing


(WFIE) – One Owensboro, Kentucky resident is not letting COVID-19 stop him from logging his miles.

Chris Abell is used to running marathons with thousands of people

“The road marathon I did was in Indianapolis, the Indy Monumental,” Abell says. “There were about 17,000 runners there that day.”

On Saturday, Chris ran a marathon all by himself.

“The most recent one was right here in my own backyard, and it was really interesting,” Abell says.

Chris ran all 26.2 miles in his fenced-in backyard.

“One lap is three-hundredths of a mile,” Abell said. “So, it takes 33 and a third of a lap to make one mile.”

Chris says each mile came with its challenges, but the runner says what got him through was his mental stamina.

“I thought about the reason that I was doing the backyard marathon in the first place, was to be in solidarity with a lot of athletes in Europe who can’t leave their homes, like at all, to exercise,” Abell said.

While you’re still allowed to be out exercising in Kentucky, Chris says doing his marathon on the streets would not make his point.

“If we go out on the roads, there are more people active right now than we’ve seen in a really long time, which is amazing, however with that, there’s a lot of crowding,” Abell said.

Chris says it’s important that we practice keeping our distance, especially when exercising.

“If we don’t, those parks and those trails are gonna close,” Abell said. “They’re gonna close those off to us, and if that happens, those of us who do want to continue exercising are gonna have to find a way to do it at our house.”

Chris says the whole marathon took him four hours, 47 minutes and five seconds.

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