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Lad Draws Peter Crouch In Incredible 23km Lockdown Running Challenge

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Lad Draws Peter Crouch In Incredible 23km Lockdown Running Challenge

A lad has completed an incredible lockdown running challenge dedicated to Peter Crouch.

Like a lot of us in lockdown, Norwich City fan Matt Peck has been doing a fair bit of running and logging it on Strava for people to see.

But one of his latest, on 31 January, was truly extraordinary. As part of challenge set by a small running organisation called 'Secret London Runs', Matt ran 23km/14 miles (a little longer than a half marathon) and his route on the map resembled an incredibly tall man.

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This was no accident as this was an ode to gigantic former striker, who turned out for a host of clubs such as Spurs, Portsmouth, Liverpool, Stoke and Burnley.

Image: PA
Image: PA

Not only was his run itself impressive, Matt also stopped off at a total of seven checkpoints that had some significance to the ex-England man.

Liverpool Road was an obvious one given Crouch made 85 appearances for the Anfield outfit in the Premier League, while Matt also stopped off at the two schools Crouch attended in Ealing, his favourite curry house called 'Samrat' and Abbey Road - a nod to his model wife.

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Crouch loved it so much that he posted the unique run on his Twitter account, with the tweet garnering some great traction.

Matt replied to the 40-year-old to express his appreciation but also let him know that he isn't a stalker.

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Explaining how he ended up doing the Peter Crouch run, Matt told SPORTbible: "I've been spending a lot of lockdown coming up with little personal running challenges and learned a lot about Ealing where I live - Freddie Mercury went to Uni here and Fred Perry lived here for example.

"These guys have been doing a thing called the Thursday Challenge, whereby each Thursday they announce a new running challenge and you have a week to do it.

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"With all of the newly gained knowledge and much time spent on the streets of West London, I thought I'd put it to good use.

"The challenge was 'Run An Ode to Someone Special' and... now, I'm not a stalker but I knew Peter Crouch grew up in Ealing because he always talks about the Curry House - Samrat - so, I did a little research to pull out some key facts about him, and started plotting a route.

"Basically spent the Saturday searching out things. For example, 'Abbey Road', I just googled 'Abbey Road' Ealing and a road by that name appeared not too far away on the map - that's the end point of his left arm - and it was a complete coincidence that Wembley Stadium was visible from that location, which was a nice bonus.

"Obviously, the schools are easy to find. But the hardest bit was plotting it all out on a map so that it semi-looked like the tall guy that Crouchy is.

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"His legs are a bit off but years of professional football will do that to you right?! So, yeah using Google and Strava, I plotted the route, saved it, then ran with my phone in my hand to make sure I didn't go off the correct path.

"To be honest, I wanted to give up after a leg and a half on the map - about 7km in - but I'm pretty stubborn so pushed through because...well, I thought I'd spent approximately five hours planning it, I may as well finish it."

Matt considers himself an "one-and off runner" and though he's done the London Marathon and other big races in the past, he found this one tough but rewarding.

He added: "I prefer the trails so road and pavements aren't always my bag but having the way points plotted out certainly made the 14 miles go by quicker than they would usually. I'm not usually doing greater than 10k at a time these days.

"Also why I got up crazy early on a Sunday to do it as it can be difficult with the many people about at the moment and I try to be responsible when running and cross the road /cover face if I see people coming my way on the pavement.

"I'm usually running at five minutes per kilometre. That's pretty standard for me. This was a lot more leisurely at 7 minutes per kilometre - not helped by the fact that I got lost under Hanger Lane roundabout - that subway has too many exits!

"I was trying to be a bit of a 'video journalist' with ad lib en route too, which was fun, but obviously, you can't stop the watch when you pause or it messes up the GPS map, which was key to this effort!"

After Crouchy shouted him out on Twitter, he's received a lot of love on social media and has been "absolutely overwhelmed" by the reaction.

"I was going to tag Crouchy on Insta when I posted it originally but saw his profile hadn't been used since 2014 so didn't bother. It was only after talking to a friend Roz - an Ealing local and someone I know from the gym - that she told me she'd shared the video with Crochy's sister.

"I believe that the sister then forwarded onto the brother and then we got to where we are. I love that he screen grabbed my Strava profile though - just picture him searching me out on Strava! Haha.

"I've been absolutely overwhelmed by it all. Like I say, I love doing the personal running challenges and the Secret London Runs group has been the perfect platform for me to take this further. But I could have never expected this.

"Obviously you shouldn't let the socials carry you away but it's nice to have something that is a bit of fun recognised, and it's great to get the kudos from the football/running community. I was concerned I might be in the firing line for a load of abuse (i.e. stalker) but the comments on his post have been 99% banter and good fun.

"And to be fair to Crouchy, he even replied to my comment on there. The man is an absolute legend - he just comes across like a regular lad, and has top notch bants."

Matt is already thinking about other unique challenges such as running to the main London train stations or getting visiting as many Embassies as possible in a couple of hours.

If allowed, he is hoping to do a Marathon in Dorset in April and then follow that up with a crazy elevation Marathon on the Faroe Islands in September.

But we can all agree that he might struggle to top this run.

Topics: Football News, Peter Crouch, Football

Josh Lawless
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