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This English Man Ran for 24 Hours in a Giant Hamster Wheel. How Did You Spend Your Weekend? It was all for a good cause.

By Nina Zipkin

Dean Ovel
Dean Ovel

We all want to give back, but 40-year-old Dean Ovel, a married father of two from Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, in England just took it to the next level.

On Saturday and Sunday, Ovel ran for 24 hours in an 8-foot-tall hamster wheel of his own making in an effort to raise funds and awareness for Southend Hospital and its plan upgrade its facilities to better aid patients with dementia. Which begs the question, what did you do this weekend?

Ovel wrote on his JustGiving page ahead of the event: "Believe me, I have no strong desire to run on what is essentially a self-powered treadmill, within a 2m high cage, in Southend High Street, over a busy weekend. But, the more I think about the reason why, the stronger my will to attempt it becomes." But his perseverance was rewarded, ultimately raising a little more than $4,000 for the hospital.

Related: 3 Ways to Make Progress on a Significant Goal -- Today

He was inspired to undertake the challenge by seeing both of his grandmothers' deal with dementia. The design for the hamster wheel began life as a Lego model put together by his son. It even became a community effort, with local businesses offering prizes for the winner who correctly guessed how many miles he would run. Just goes to show how innovation can make a big difference.

Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Reporter. Covers media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

Nina Zipkin is a staff reporter at She frequently covers media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

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