Sunday 22 April 2018 marks the 11th consecutive year that Guinness World Records has partnered with the Virgin Money London Marathon, providing on-the-finish-line record verification for a huge variety of costumed runners.
An unprecedented 90 record titles are being attempted this year, featuring a total of 98 runners – the highest number yet!
A team of Guinness World Records adjudicators will be on hand at the 26-mile race, to check costumes, verify times and confirm records – potentially earning participants a place in the upcoming Guinness World Records 2019 book.
Here are a few of our runners to look out for on the day (they’ll be hard to miss!)
Fastest marathon dressed as a toilet (male)
02:57:00 to beat
This year’s Virgin Money London Marathon is not his first Guinness World Records attempt. Between 2009 and 2010, Robert Prothero held the record for the Fastest marathon dressed as a vegetable and this year he will try to claim back his status as a current Guinness World Records title holder when he attempts to break the record for the Fastest marathon dressed as a toilet (male).
Having supported WaterAid for many years, Bob now works full time for the charity and therefore has chosen to fundraise for them. He hopes that a Guinness World Records attempt will help inspire support for the organisation.
Fastest marathon on stilts
06:30:00 to beat
In 2008, Michelle Frost became the first person to set the record for the Fastest marathon on stilts and this year she will be attempting to claim back her record. Michelle works for the Motor Neurone Disease Association and therefore it was a natural choice for her to raise money for this cause.
She says: "Every day I speak to those affected by and living with this dreadful disease, so I’m proud to be able to raise some much-needed awareness by taking on the marathon. Hopefully I’ll be easy to spot!"
She has been training by walking through the Bedfordshire countryside parks on her stilts which has certainly confused the walkers, dogs and horses that she has passed while out and about!
Her record attempt has garnered so much interest that she has even received donations from those who have spotted her practicing in public.
Fastest marathon dressed as an emoji (female)
04:05:00 to beat
This year will be Victoria Bell’s marathon debut and she has chosen to complete it while also attempting to achieve the Fastest marathon dressed as an Emoji (female).
Although this will be Victoria’s first marathon, she loves training for a challenge, having completed a number of half marathons and the Prudential 100 bike ride in the past.
Growing up, Victoria received the Guinness World Records annual in her Christmas stocking every year and she is now keen to tick breaking a record off her bucket list.
Victoria is raising money for WaterAid, a charity she has always wanted to help following a poignant and inspirational talk from a charity representative at work.
She has chosen to run as the 'poop' emoji and says: "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."
Fastest marathon dressed as an insect
03:05:00 to beat
Barnaby Hopson is no stranger to running long distances, as he has lost count of how many marathons and super marathons he has finished.
When training for a marathon he runs every day, regularly increasing his mileage, along with doing some high intensity training.
While this is Barnaby’s first Guinness World Records title attempt, he ran the Virgin Money London Marathon in Captain America dress last year for fun.
Inspired by the encouragement he received from this, Barnaby decided to attempt to run the Fastest marathon dressed as an insect, dressed up as a bee.
Barnaby picked his costume because he thinks bumble bees are amazing creatures for the environment, and he has a 'B' in his name. Barnaby is raising money for the charity Refugees at Home, where he is a regular volunteer. Watch out for him buzzing across the finish line on 22 April.
Fastest marathon dressed as a pencil
03:40:00 to beat
Pencil Alex Morales in on your list of runners to watch for at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon! This year is Alex’s 34th marathon and 16th London Marathon.
After achieving his lifetime goal of running a sub-3 hour marathon at last year’s event, Alex decided it was time for a new challenge.
A journalist by trade, running as a pencil was the natural choice for Alex. This year, Alex is raising money for Ellie’s Friends, a part of Maggie’s Cancer Charity, in honour of a good friend and a family member who recently passed away due to cancer.
Though he hasn’t trained much in his costume due to the embarrassment of running around his town dressed as a pencil, he is excited to run across the finish line wearing it in St. James's Park.
Fastest marathon dressed as a tree (male)
03:45:00 to beat
Tim Perkins has decided to take on his first Guinness World Records attempt as he completes his sixth marathon, whilst fundraising for The Money Charity.
Tim runs The Nudge Global, a software business that aims to make money simpler and improve the financial wellbeing of employees and their families; so The Money Charity, which supports and educates young and vulnerable people across the UK, was a natural choice for him.
Tim has chosen to run the Fastest marathon dressed as a tree (male) to reflect the work of the money charity, and quickly realised that this was not going to be an 'off the peg' costume and would require him to dust off his sewing kit.
After deliberating running as a chocolate coin, credit card and piggy bank, Tim settled on running in a 'money tree' costume. He is yet to train in it though and is sorry to see the arrival of lighter evenings as they are 'taking away' his cover!
Fastest marathon by a mascot (male)
03:17:57 to beat
Lee Collier is running the London Marathon as everyone's favourite bear this year, Paddington, because he is the mascot of Action Medical Research. The charity, which works to fight children's diseases, holds a special place in Lee's heart since he lost a daughter in 2005. So far, Lee has run two 10k races and one marathon dressed as Paddington Bear - and the London Marathon won't be his last!
This is just a small selection of the runners attempting world records that form part of the high drama and emotion of the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon, taking place on Sunday 22 April.
Follow us on Twitter, where we'll be announcing new records live from the finish line.
As you may have seen, the Virgin Money London Marathon has today (Thursday 19 April) released some guidance regarding what may be the hottest marathon on record this Sunday.
Amongst other advice, Professor Sanjay Sharma, Medical Director of the London Marathon, has stated that runners in fancy dress should carefully consider whether that is still appropriate in the conditions, and that runners should plan to slow their race pace.
Please read the full statement from Virgin Money London Marathon.
We ask that you please carefully consider the information that has been made available. We appreciate running for a Guinness World Records title means an awful lot to you and in many cases, your fundraising, and it means a lot to us too – but your health should be the priority.