SPORTS-MAD Hannah Marshall has stepped up to the challenge for the NHS by climbing the equivalent of Ben Nevis – up her stairs.

Hannah, 27, who is staying with her parents in Darlington during the coronavirus lockdown, wanted to do something “a bit daft” to show her support for NHS workers and carers.

So, she climbed up and down the stairs at the family home 440 times to cover the 1,345-metres height of Britain’s highest mountain.

Hannah works as a sports development officer at Tyne Metropolitan College, in Wallsend, as well as a futsal coach at Northumbria University.

A member of Jesmond Joggers running club in Newcastle, she loves hiking and athletics and completed a Half Ironman last year, comprising a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13.1-mile run. She was due to tackle the Manchester Marathon and the Uganda Marathon this year, but both were postponed.

“I love the outdoors and I wanted to show my students that you can still find things to do to stay fit indoors, while raising awareness and funds for the NHS at the same time.

“In our running club, we have doctors and nurses who are going to work every day, and it’s unimaginable what it must be like. They are risking their lives, and putting their families in danger, but they just have to do it.

“They are doing an incredible job in unprecedented circumstances and we all need to pull together and think of ways to support each other.”

Hannah, who has always had an ambition to climb Ben Nevis, measured each stair at 17cms. With 18 stairs, she calculated that she would need to go up and down 440 times to reach 1,345 metres, and her mission was completed in three hours 45 minutes.

With her intrepid efforts being live streamed on Facebook, she set a fundraising target of £1,345 to match the height of Ben Nevis. However, donations have already exceeded £2,000.

“I was boiling towards the end, and my legs were shaking uncontrollably, but I kept on going and I was really pleased with the time,” said Hannah. “My dad was a bit worried about the carpet, but it seems in pretty good nick!”

Hannah’s next challenge is the rescheduled Manchester Marathon in October, and she would also like to climb Kilimanjaro – only this time for real.