Elisha Nochomovitz decided he would not let the coronavirus pandemic dampen his athletic — and social conscience — spirits, so he decided to run a full 26.2-mile marathon on his terrace track.
Nochomovitz also posted images of his feat online in a message of support to medical workers who were doing an “exceptional job,” he told The Associated Press.
He saw the marathon as a way to show that it’s possible to stay fit as millions are confined to their homes amid the widening pandemic.
And he also sought to lighten the mood.
“It was about launching a bit of a crazy challenge and bringing a bit of humor, to de-dramatize the confinement situation,” he told the news agency.
Nochomovitz, who clocked in at six hours and 48 minutes, got nauseous at one point and worried that his neighbors would complain about his pounding footsteps as he ran back and forth.
Technically, French citizens are still permitted to venture outside for exercise if they fill out and sign a form explaining their reasons for leaving their homes.
As the days have become warmer, the number of people jogging on French streets has multiplied in recent days – leaving authorities concerned about the impact on their efforts to contain the virus.
“If everyone thinks the same way and does the same thing, we will 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,” Nochomovitz said.
He lost track of how many laps he covered as 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 medical personnel, whom he described as the real heroes.
And he gave special thanks to one person close to him.
“I had my girlfriend here who was giving me drinks and M&Ms,” Nochomovitz said, adding that his neighbors “were very understanding.”