Send your support as Canaries chaplain takes on treadmill marathon with £10,000 target

Norwich City Football Club chaplain Jon Norman is running a fund-raising marathon on a treadmill Pic

Norwich City Football Club chaplain Jon Norman is running a fund-raising marathon on a treadmill Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Attempting to run a marathon is daunting at the best of times but Norwich City’s chaplain is taking on the 26.2 miles on a treadmill today, despite very little training, as he aims to raise £10,000 for good causes amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jon Norman, a senior pastor of Soul Church in Norwich and canon of Norwich Cathedral, had already raised over £1,200 ahead of starting the challenge at home at 11am.

In April of 2019 the father of two successfully completed a gruelling seven marathons in seven days alongside the Canaries’ academy chaplain, and former City youth player, Lewis Blois – raising over £45,000 towards a fund for Soul Church’s new facilities.

During the social challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic, imposing isolation on many vulnerable people, Soul Church have been running a foodbank for northern Norwich from their base in Mason Road, in Mile Cross – which is a drop-off site every day between 9am and 5pm.

With that operation proving to be a success, the funds are being raised for the Soul Foundation to purchase warehouse space to store incoming food parcels and packaging, and to purchase packaging for distribution in large numbers.

Mr Norman said: “I ran seven marathons in seven days last year but I haven’t done any training, so it’s a little bit silly really! But they talk about marathon muscle memory, so we’ll see if my muscles have got it.

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“A lot of it is in the head and I think that is probably where I’ll be able to dig deep and think back on some of those memories from last April.

“I think one of the challenges is that on a treadmill you’ve got to concentrate. When you go out for a jog, or you’re on a track, you can kind of let your mind wander but you can’t do that because on a treadmill you can fall off. So I’ve got to be a little bit careful.”

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Jon Norman running a marathon on his home treadmill Picture: @JonJNorman on Instagram

Jon Norman running a marathon on his home treadmill Picture: @JonJNorman on Instagram - Credit: @JonJNorman on Instagram

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Mr Norman, like most people, hasn’t done much more than 10km on a treadmill previously so will have someone alongside him to ensure safety throughout and expects to complete his effort in around six hours.

“I feel ready and I think it’s the cause that’s motivating me more than anything,” Mr Norman added. “Our Soul Foundation Covid-19 response, the guys have just been incredible, they’re out right now delivering food to needy families in Norfolk so the church has turned into a big food warehouse.

“What normally would have been a house of worship is now just full of food, non-perishable items and toiletries, so I just think it’s been a fantastic response from the local community.”

Mr Norman will be listening to music to keep him motivated and will also be streaming live on his @JonJNorman Instagram page, where supporters can send him messages throughout, which he’ll be able to see via a tablet set up in front of the treadmill. Please note that live videos work best through Instagram’s app.

To support Mr Norman’s fund-raising efforts go to

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