Tuesday 21 January 2020

11 of the wackiest records being attempted at the London Marathon

There’s even a poo emoji.

From landmarks to toilets, there are some brave runners in this year's London Marathon (Guinness World Records/PA)
From landmarks to toilets, there are some brave runners in this year's London Marathon (Guinness World Records/PA)

By Taylor Heyman, Press Association

As thousands of runners prepare to run the London Marathon tomorrow, spare a thought for those readying to run in costume.

It’s hard enough to run a marathon in all the correct gear, let alone add an elaborate element of fancy dress to raise that bit of extra cash for your chosen charity.

Despite this, a brave group of dedicated runners will be attempting to become the fastest runners in their chosen category of fancy dress. From emoji to running in ski boots, here are some of the craziest runners hoping to swipe a Guinness World Record on Sunday.

1. Fastest marathon dressed as an emoji (Female)

(Guinness World Records/PA)

Victoria Bell, 30, is running for WaterAid as the poop emoji.

“It had to be the poop – everybody’s favourite emoji! It’s recognisable, kids love it and it will make people laugh. Plus, it’s perfect for WaterAid who work tirelessly to ensure everyone in the world has access to clean water and decent toilets,” she said.

2. Fastest marathon on stilts

(Guinness World Records/PA)

Ten years on and her record has been beaten; she’s running in 2018 to reclaim it. She’s aiming for a time of 6 hours and 30 minutes and running to raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Michelle has been training by walking through the Bedfordshire countryside parks on her stilts, delighting walkers, dogs and horses alike.

3. Fastest marathon in ski boots

(Guinness World Records/PA)

Colin Haycock 48, from Whitton in Twickenham is aiming to finish the marathon in a swift 5 hours and 58 minutes to beat the world record for the fastest marathon in ski boots.

Sunday’s race will be his 34th marathon, and what better way to celebrate than to set himself a crazy challenge. On breaking his foot last year, Colin decided to think outside the box for ways he could keep running.

He tried running in his cast and crutches, but as the cast did not allow his ankle to move, he turned to a ski boot for more flexibility. Thus his Guinness World Records title idea was born. Colin will be running for Star Chase.

4. Fastest marathon dressed as a toilet (male)

(Guinness World Records/PA)

Bob Prothero is another multiple marathon runner – this year’s will be his 11th.

It’s also not his first time attempting a record; between 2009 and 2010, Bob held the record for the fastest marathon dressed as a vegetable. For 2018, Bob has chosen an appropriate costume for the charity he works and raises cash for – Water Aid. He’s aiming to beat the current record of 2 hours, 57 minutes.

5. Fastest Dressed as a crustacean (male)

(Guinness World Records/PA)

 Howard Calvert, 39, will be aiming to beat the time of 3 hours, 13 minutes set last year to become the fastest marathon dressed as a crustacean.

Howard’s third marathon will be in aid of Dimbleby Cancer Care, which supported his sister-in-law through chemotherapy. He decided to attempt a Guinness World Records title because he wanted a new challenge after running a sub-3 hour marathon in London in 2016. Luckily for him, his mum owns a fancy dress shop, so he had plenty of choice.

6. Fastest marathon dressed as a monarch

(Guinness World Records/PA)

Paul Underwood, 44, from the West Midlands, let his children choose the Guinness World Records title he should attempt. He then honed the category down to Henry VIII.

A marathon aficionado, Paul already holds the current titles for fastest marathon dressed as a rugby player and fastest half marathon dressed as a storybook character. This year he is running for Mind, to try and help improve the stigma around mental health.

7. Fastest Three-legged marathon (mixed)

(Guinness World Records/PA)

Louise Andrews, 45 and Neil Sheward, 53 usually run their races separately due to the difference in their pace. However, for Sunday’s race the pair have decided to join together and make a record attempt.

They are aiming for a time of 4 hours.

8. Fastest marathon dressed as a heavy-duty vehicle (male)

(Guinness World Records/PA)

Craig Williamson, 49, from Lincolnshire, is on his fourth marathon. His choice of record was inspired by his work as a farmer.

He is fundraising for the Lincs & Notts Air Ambulance.

9. Fastest Marathon dress in armour

Paul Beddows is donning a suit of armour for the marathon (SSAFA/PA)

Paul Beddows, 33,  will be one of the runners bringing up the rear of the race due to the heavy 15th century suit of Gothic Plate armour he will be wearing.

This will be soldier Paul’s first standalone marathon, but he’s completed plenty of psychical challenges in the past, including four Ironman Triathlons.

As a serving soldier, Paul’s chosen charity is close to his heart. He has seen the work the SSAFA has done for both serving and ex serving personnel and he sees this as his opportunity to give back to them.

“It’s not going to be an easy record to beat, but I feel I have the mental fortitude and resilience to dig in and fight for the record,” he says.

10.  Fastest marathon dressed as a Star Wars character (male)

(Guinness World Records/PA)

Philip Powell, 34, from Kent,has chosen his Star Wars character outfit for a very particular and moving reason.

Philip’s brother is currently fighting leukaemia. Just as his brother is reliant on medical care, Darth Vader’s suit is a mobile life support system. Philip is running in honour of the charity Anthony Nolan, because without their life-saving support, his brother would not be alive. He is aiming for a time of 4 hours, 15 minutes.

11. Fastest marathon in a two-person costume

(Guinness World Records/PA)

Michael Odell and Guy Dunscombe, both 35, have not  been able to train together often, owing to one of them living Zurich and the other in Bristol. However, this has not stopped them pursuing their record attempt and a time of 2 hours and 59 minutes.

The pair have run a number of marathons together, along with triathlons and Ironman challenges. The 2018 London Marathon, however,  is their first attempt at fancy dress.

They are running as a horse and jockey running in support of Maggie’s Centre, a UK-based cancer counselling charity in memory of their friend Chris who passed away from cancer in 2017. They chose their costume to remember Chris in a way that would make people smile.

PA Media

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