BASINGSTOKE’S nicest person is getting ready to take part in a virtual marathon this weekend, just five months after being discharged from hospital after contracting coronavirus.

Steve Edney, who won The Gazette poll last year for his fundraising efforts, is getting ready for his next challenge - taking part in the virtual London marathon this weekend.

It comes after a rollercoaster year for the business owner, after he spent three days in hospital earlier this year suffering from Covid-19.

The Chineham resident described those days as “the scariest time of my life”, and says it took him two months before he was able to exercise again.

“I went from being marathon-ready to literally not being able to move in days,” Steve told The Gazette.

“It was like snakes and ladders. I went down one of the biggest snakes back to the bottom.

“For three weeks I couldn’t do anything but breathe and sleep.”

After being discharged from hospital, he was forced to self-isolate away from his wife and children and it was not until June that an X-ray on his right lung showed he had successfully fought off the virus.

After being able to resume training, Steve, who has raised around £90,000 in various challenges, soon found the recovery harder than he anticipated.

“I have never known anything like it,” he continued, “I was like a 100-year-old.

“Because of the lung damage, I could only manage three miles and it would take me about 40 minutes.”

But after months of hard work and a holiday to exploit the hilly terrain of Cornwall, Steve says he is probably almost at the same fitness levels as before his illness.

And it is his 8-year-old son Max, who lives with the genetic bone disorder Osteogenesis Imperfecta and has broken over 20 bones, that has inspired him to get back to running.

“Max breaks bones and has high levels of fatigue. I see what he does with every single day and I say that I can drag my legs around 26 miles.”

Steve is an ambassador for the Brittle Bone Society, which supports people diagnosed with the condition.

His 26.2-mile route will take him across much of Basingstoke, starting at 6am on Sunday and aiming to finish by midday.

Friends are going to be running individual miles with Steve, and you can donate by visiting