Doctors will be on their marks in a virtual race of the distance to northern Italy, to help patients recovering from Covid-19.

London2Lombardy is a charity race for participants to travel a total of 1,300km from August 1 to August 2, to support ICUsteps, a charity that helps recovering coronavirus patients.

Northwick Park Hospital medics will be taking part in the race and are encouraging as many people to join in – where each participants’ individual distance will be added together to make up the 1,300km distance.

Sarah Bury, an intensive care doctor who is also coordinating the race, said: “There are so many people recovering from Covid-19 who need help. Many of our patients will take months to rehabilitate. The support that ICUsteps can offer them during this period is crucial.”

Lombardy was one of Italy’s worst-hit regions of coronavirus with 87,000 recorded cases and more than 16,000 deaths.

Likewise, Northwick Park hospital was one of the hospitals which became most overwhelmed during the early peak of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.

The hospital has since managed to regain control of the outbreak and the handling of the virus.

Consequently, the fundraiser has a personal connection to both Northwick Park Hospital doctors and hospitals in Lombardy.

Participants only need a smartphone with the Strava GPS app to track the distance and will need to sign up for the race at: