Big Issue vendor Lee Welham found it tough going covering the miles on a space hopper. Image: Lee Welham
A Big Issue vendor has bounced back from missing out on his chance to run the London Marathon by attempting to cover the distance on a space hopper.
Lee Welham, who sells the magazine outside the Round Church in Cambridge, was due to run Sunday’s race for a disability charity but missed out because of a £100 administration fee.
The 38-year-old was still keen to take part so opted to do the marathon virtually to raise money for The Big Issue Foundation. But instead of donning running shoes, he is tackling the 26.2 mile distance on a space hopper over several nights.
“I’ve had a few lovely messages saying: “I didn’t expect you to do half an hour let alone five hours”. People said they didn’t expect me to do it and they are quite shocked I’m going to continue,” said Welham.
“My theory is that I’ve asked them to fundraise for The Big Issue and I don’t expect nothing for nothing, even if it takes me the rest of the month to complete this silly challenge.
“I want to tell the local community that, even though I was a bit deflated that I didn’t complete it, I am going to bounce back. I may have my ups and downs but I don’t shirk a challenge.”
Welham decided to take on the challenge after searching online for bizarre marathon challenges once he learned he would not be competing in London.
He discovered that no one had completed a marathon on a space hopper. The record for the greatest distance travelled in 24 hours on a space hopper is 20.38 miles and was set in March 2021 by Belgian Glenn Valentin, according to Guinness World Records.
When most people think about the Big Issue, they think of vendors selling the Big Issue magazines on the streets – and we are immensely proud of this. In 2022 alone, we worked with 10% more vendors and these vendors earned £3.76 million in collective income. There is much more to the work we do at the Big Issue Group, our mission is to create innovative solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunity for the 14million people in the UK living in poverty.