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Britain’s John Griffin scales ‘indoor Everest’ to raise money for food banks

John Griffin, who is raising money for food banks, climbed 41,000 steps at his three-story house in West Sussex, equivalent to the 8,850 metres that the Everest measures, in four days.

By: Reuters | Updated: April 10, 2020 9:10:35 am
John Griffin runs up the stairs of his house in West Sussex during his “Indoor Everest” challenge. (Source: Reuters)

The anti-coronavirus lockdown may have left plenty of Britons ready to scale their walls in frustration, but runner John Griffin has put his pent-up energy to better use – by climbing the height of Mount Everest up his staircase.

It took Griffin four days to climb 41,000 steps at his three-story house in West Sussex, equivalent to the 8,850 meters (29,035 feet) that the world’s highest mountain measures.

His effort has so far raised 3,500 pounds ($4,340) for the Trussell Trust, a charity that supports more than 1,200 UK food banks.

“As a result of the coronavirus panic, people have been stealing food (collected in supermarkets) and so this charity had its input of food effectively cut off,” the 53-year-old told Reuters.

Using a computer programmed by his neighbor to track his progress, he almost came unstuck on day three when his knee began to hurt, but took his wife’s advice to tape frozen peas to it and managed to push on, finally reaching the ‘summit’ after 29 hours of ‘climbing’.

His family, including dog Houndslow, were waiting on the rooftop terrace when he ran up the stairs for the final time.

“It was a real sense of achievement,” he added. “…Unfortunately, due to social distancing, they were the only people there.”

Griffin, who is vegan and runs cookuu.com, a vegan food cooking and delivery service, said his plant-based diet gave him the strength to keep going for eight hours a day.

“Carb loading was absolutely essential,” he said. “I was probably burning about 6,500 calories per day. Bananas every 300 metres (and) eating a lot of oaty flapjacks.”

“(Now) I’m going to swim the English Channel in my bathtub,” he said, laughing.

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