Man runs marathon on balcony during coronavirus lockdown

Ellena Cruse
Neighbors talk to each other from their balconies in Paris: AFP via Getty Images

A man in lockdown in France ran a marathon from his balcony to encourage others to keep fit during self-isolation.

Elisha Nochomovitz pounded out 26.2 miles from a 23ft space in and called the challenge both a mental and physical effort.

He shared the feat, which took place in the Balma suburb of Toulouse, to lighten the global mood and raise awareness about exercising in confined spaces.

He also wanted to show support by staying at home for “the entire medical personnel who are doing an exceptional job”.

A man jogs along the empty banks of the river Seine (AFP via Getty Images)

During the run he suffered nausea and was worried his neighbours would complain about the constant pounding of his footsteps

“It was about launching a bit of a crazy challenge and bringing a bit of humour, to de-dramatise the confinement situation,” he said.

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

But the number of joggers has multiplied in recent days, amid exceptionally warm weather, and French authorities are now worried that too many people are still out in the streets.

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

While running, he said his mind wandered.

“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.”

He especially thought about medics, who he described as “the real everyday heroes”.

He also paid tribute to his girlfriend, “who was giving me drinks and M&Ms” throughout the challenge.