103-yr-old retired doctor attempts marathon challenge to raise money for COVID-19 research

103-year-old retired doctor Alfons Leempoels set upon his daily walk around his garden as he attempts to complete a marathon by the end of June, in order to raise money for COVID-19 research, as seen in the Belgium municipality of Rotselaar on Thursday. The former doctor said that at first he joked about completing the marathon with his granddaughter but soon decided to undertake the challenge. Leempoels added he was inspired by Britain's Captain Sir Thomas Moore, a former army officer who walked for 24 days in the lead up to his 100th birthday to raise money for charity. Each day Leempoels completes ten 145 metre (475ft) laps of his garden, in order to keep count he puts a stick into a pot after every lap. He recalled the influenza pandemic in 1957, and said that although it made a lot of more people sick than today, he considers coronavirus to be «much more severe.»

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