A PRIMARY school teacher will run a marathon around his neighbourhood to raise money for the NHS in the fight against coronavirus.

Thomas Budgen plans to run 90 times around his block in Brierley Hill- the equivalent distance of a marathon- to raise money for the Dudley Group NHS Charity to aid frontline staff who are treating patients with Covid-19.

The reception teacher, who works at Lutley Primary School in Halesowen, was due to run both the Manchester and Brighton marathons this month before they were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Eager not to put his training to waste and keen to do something positive with his time in lockdown, Thomas decided to take on a marathon with a social distancing twist.

He told the News: "I had done all this training for months and months to get ready. To have it cancelled was disappointing but understandable.

"I've been running for about two years, I started at Dudley Park Run. I hated it at first soon got into it.

"I have got friends and family working for the NHS, I am full of respect for them. However small, I just wanted to do something to help them."

Thomas will be taking on the running challenge on Saturday, April 11 on The Breeze, just of Moor Street. He hopes to complete the challenge in one day, as long as the current rules on exercising are still in place by then.

He is still working at school to care for the children of key workers, but says he misses the normally bustling school day so he is currently recording videos of himself reading stories to his students so his class can keep in touch.

Thomas has also set up a Just Giving page for his marathon which has so far raised £341 for the Dudley Group NHS Charity. His goal is to raise £500 to help the local NHS trust.

Writing on his page he said: "Our NHS staff are heroes and are putting themselves on the front line to protect us all. If they can do that, I'm pretty sure I can run around the block a few times."