A British Teacher Is Running to Local Pubs Every Day Until They're Allowed to Reopen
His daily routine has gone viral on TikTok.
"Day 21 of running to the pub until it's open," Ollie Ripley said on Tiktok this morning. "It's 8 a.m., let's see if today's the day, I guess!" The math teacher, who lives in Woking, England, has been running to one of his local pubs every day for the past three weeks and has pledged to keep the routine going until the country's bars and restaurants are allowed to reopen.
Ripley started a TikTok (@thepubrunner) to document his daily pub runs and, as of this writing, he has more than 13,500 followers. He doesn't always run to the same pub, and his routes can range between just over one kilometer (.62 miles) and more than six kilometers (3.7 miles). It's probably good that he's already pacing himself—no pun intended—since England won't be reopening any of its hospitality venues until at least April 12. (Every day he pretends to be surprised that the pubs are still closed, and every day it's still entertaining.)
"In the first lockdown me and my dad ran together a lot, and in the second lockdown I got really lazy and it was really easy to not get out and about," he told The Daily Mirror. "Now it's taken off, it is something nice for me and my dad to do together. I moved out [of my dad's house] in September so I think he misses me."
Ripley isn't just doing this for his own physical benefit either: part of the reason he launched this pub run challenge was to raise awareness for mental health conditions. He's even started a Just Giving fundraiser to support Mind, a mental health charity, and has already raised more than £2,150 ($2,998) for the cause.
"Mental health is something that is very relevant at the moment, a lot of people are struggling," he said. "I have, my friends have, it's on a lot of people's minds, and we're at a point where a lot of people have the potential to be helped at the moment."
He also tries to fit his daily runs in around his teaching duties at St. Andrews Catholic School and yes, his students have already discovered his account. (He said that some of them leave supportive comments, and some of them are just surprised that he's on TikTok.)
By the time that pubs are allowed to reopen—assuming that the April 12 date is still valid by the time that Wednesday rolls around—Ripley will have been running for 71 days straight. "[Going to the pub] is about the craic, seeing friends and having fun, not getting smashed but having a laugh and a few beers," he said. "There's a few things that are beneficial to mental health and that's exercise and socialising, so I feel like running to the pub, even if I can't go in, is a bit of a mix of that." After two months of running and who knows how many miles, Ripley's first pint in an actual pub is going to be brilliant.