Guinness World Records has partnered with the Virgin Money London Marathon (VMLM) for the tenth consecutive year, as we provide costumed fun runners with on-the-spot world record verification when they cross the finish line during the event on Sunday 23th April.
An incredible 73 Guinness World Records titles are being attempted this year, featuring a total of 86 runners.
A team of our adjudicators will be on hand to check costumes, verify times and confirm successful runners as official title holders, earning them a coveted place in the Guinness World Records 2018 book which comes out in September.
Here are a few of the most creative costumes and inspiring record-hopefuls to look out for on the day:
Fastest marathon dressed as a 3D aircraft
6 hours to beat
Paul Cousins, 49, from Western-Super-Mare, will be gracing the circuit in a hugely impressive helicopter costume – a nod to the helicopter heritage of his town. Paul is running for the Bone Cancer Research Trust (BCRT) in honour of his friends Andy and Sue Collard who recently lost their daughter to the disease, aged just 11. With the help of his GWR attempt, Paul has already raised nearly £4000, double his initial target, and he hopes for many more donations when he crosses the finish line on 23 April. The costume weighs a hefty 20kg and although Paul has run the marathon twice before, this costume will surely test him to the limit.
Fastest marathon in a four-person costume
5:25:01 to beat
Simon Gauge, 46, Caroline Brown, 32, Jacqueline Jones, 40, and Steve Day, 49, will also be taking flight at this year’s VMLM. The group will be running dressed as an aeroplane, which is very fitting because they have 58 years of flying for Monarch Airlines between the four of them. They are raising money for two of Monarch’s charity partners – Macmillan Cancer Support and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity. The team have had to fit in training around their busy rotas but have practiced running with 5 kg backpacks to get used to the weight of the plane. While it is Steve’s first ever marathon, Simon ran last year’s VMLM and was the 2nd highest individual fundraiser with over £33,000! While Jacq and Caroline have also ran marathons before, the team will have to go to new heights to be able to go the full course and walk away with the Guinness World Records title in their expected finish time of 5 hours 20 minutes.
Fastest marathon dressed as a Star Wars character
4:59:59 to beat
Jeremy Paul Allinson, 42, a RAF Officer from Benson, Oxford will be running his third Virgin Money London Marathon this year – but this time he’s running for The Empire. Jeremy is running for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and, unbelievably, is using the London Marathon as a ‘warm up’ for a 40 mile ultra-run finishing at the home of Star Wars - Pinewood Studios - on Star Wars Day 2017 (May 4th). He says these events will be the hardest thing he has ever done but the support he has received so far has been fantastic. He hopes ‘The Force’ will overcome ‘The Burn’ on marathon day!
Fastest marathon dressed as a Viking
3:12:11 to beat
Paul Richards, 29, from Telford will be running this year’s VMLM dressed as a Viking. This might be Paul’s third marathon but he is one to watch with a personal best of 2:47:51 at last year’s event. Paul decided to run for a GWR title as he loves a challenge and he will be running for Mind, a charity that supports people suffering from mental illnesses. Paul lost his mum nine years ago and after suffering with depression, Mind provided him with counselling which he says made a massive difference to his life. He also took up running following his diagnosis and he now regularly participates in sporting events up and down the country. Mind helped Paul come to terms with his condition and he is now looking forward to attempting this GWR title at the VMLM and giving something back.
Fastest marathon dressed as a chef (male)
3:56:21 to beat
Mohammad Alqadi, 27, will be running his eighth marathon at this year’s VMLM. A chef by day, it was the obvious choice for a costume. Alqadi fled Palestine four years ago as a refugee, and always carries the Palestinian flag during his marathons to promote peace for his nation. Mohammad has run seven marathons in the space of a year, all fundraising for Palestinian charities. At London, he will be fundraising for Sense, a UK charity. He is very appreciative of all the UK based charities that have helped Palestine and now he wants to give something back to those suffering in the UK. He has decided to run for a Guinness World Records title to show that even if you live in a war zone, you can apply yourself to something and can be successful.
Fastest marathon dressed as a medical instrument
4:30:00 to beat
Mark Conlin ,47, from Derbyshire will be injecting awareness at this year’s VMLM dressed as an insulin pump in aid of UK charity Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). His son Matthew was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at six years old. Now aged 12, Matthew has to wear an insulin pump 24/7, which keeps him alive. Matthew has challenged his dad to raise awareness and help find a cure - this is Mark’s fourth marathon since Matthew’s request. Mark gets up at 5am to check Matthew’s sugar levels, but rather than go back to bed, he goes for a run in his costume. The JDRF focuses on preventative research into Type 1 diabetes and researching a cure for those who are already suffering. Mark found training in the costume daunting at first, but after encouragement from the public, he has found it incredibly motivating and is eager to achieve a GWR title at this year’s London Marathon.
This is just a small selection of the runners attempting world records that form part of the high drama and emotion of the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, where we will be providing live record results on the day.