A determined runner has completed a half-marathon for Haven House by jogging the length of his balcony more than 5,000 times.

Sam Hustler, 27, managed the remarkable feat by doing thousands of ‘laps’ of his three-metre long balcony, all adding up to an impressive 13.1miles - totalling more than 28,000 steps. 

He had been due to take part in the London Landmarks half marathon yesterday, which would have seen him take in sights such as Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and The Shard. But event bosses had to cancel the race following the nationwide lockdown.

Organisers encouraged runners to get creative and identify their own local landmarks and map a run around hidden gems in their area on a solo run. However, Sam has been self-isolating with his girlfriend Chloe Skerritt since Monday when she developed a fever and a cough.

Inspired by a video of a man in Italy completing a full marathon on his balcony, Sam decided he would take on the challenge on the balcony of his third-floor apartment in South Woodford, Essex. It took him three hours to run with Chloe cheering him on – and even providing oranges at the mid-way point.

Sam, who had never previously ran more than 11 miles, said he had been training hard for the half-marathon and did not want that training to go to waste. He also wanted to honour his commitment to raising money for Haven House.

Sam said: "It was going to be my first ever half-marathon and I was excited to do it, so it was devastating when it was cancelled. I had put so much training in and it’s such a great cause I was running for, that I wanted to still do it anyway I could. I saw a video of a man in Italy who ran a full marathon on his balcony so I thought I could do a half-marathon on mine.”

Sam completed the half marathon in an incredible three hours and 42 minutes and Chloe made him a winner’s medal made from a discarded cereal box.

Sam added: “The worst thing was that I couldn’t pick up any pace because there’s only so much room before you hit a wall or a window. The hardest aspect of the entire run was the mental part more than physical, because it’s so hard to push yourself when you’re not making much ground. It’s just the same short bit of balcony over and over again for over three hours. I don’t know how many podcasts I listened to. I had some great tunes on to keep me on pace, including McFly, AC/DC and the Foo Fighters. I’m now ready to drink and watch Netflix all day.”

Sophie Bragg, Haven House’s Events Fundraising Manager, said: “We are so incredibly proud of Sam and the amazing determination he has shown to support us at what is an extremely tough time for the hospice. As if running a half marathon wasn’t tough enough Sam really has taken it to new levels, showing great grit and creativity, while supporting our children and families during this unprecedented time."

Haven House, now more than ever, needs the help of our supporters to get us through this crisis. All our fundraising events for the foreseeable future are cancelled and our retail shops are closed - impacting our ability to raise funds to provide specialist critical care to hundreds of local families. Supporters, like Sam, are so vital to ensure we can keep our hospice running now and into the future. 

Have you been inspired by Sam’s balcony run? Get in touch and support our emergency appeal.