Virgin Money London Marathon 2014: The amazing runners looking to set a world record today.
Guinness World Records is partnered with the Virgin Money London Marathon for the seventh successive year to provide on-the-spot record verification to over 100 runners at this year’s race.
With a diverse range of challenging feats and an incredible array of fancy dress on show, it looks set to be the best year of record-breaking yet with over 40 record categories looking to be broken.
Guinness World Records will be providing live results on the day our twitter account, so make sure to follow @gwr. We'll also have a round-up of all the records broken on guinnessworldrecords.com later today.
Here below, we profile a small selection of the potentially record-breaking runners that will make up the high drama and emotion of today's event.
War Horse - Fastest marathon in a four-person costume
Karen Shrimpton (56) Penny Patten (52), Debbie Bell (51) and Sharon Ellis (42) From Chichester
This marvellous costume was inspired by the theatre adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s children’s story: ‘War Horse’.
The costume, designed by Clive Patten, will be taken around the course by four friends from Chichester. All four have marathon experience, but this will be the first time they’ve attempted to run the 26.2 mile course as a four-person team.
They describe training with the costume as a “logistical nightmare”.
The women aim to raise over £8k for the Royal British Legion, in an iconic year – the 100 year anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.
Record to Beat: 7 hours
Sid Keyte - Fastest marathon dressed as a telephone box
43 from Salisbury
This will be Sid’s fourth marathon to date but his first in fancy dress. He has decided on the telephone box because he says that it’s an iconic symbol for London, as well as England.
Sid has been training for 4 months carrying the phone box around the Wiltshire Countryside receiving some very puzzled looks from the locals.
Sid is hoping to raise over £5k for ‘Mind’, a charity that is close to him as he has friends and family who have suffered from mental health issues.
Record to Beat: 6 hours
Sally Orange - Fastest marathon dressed as a fruit (female)
40 from Stafford
Sally turns 40 the day before the Virgin Money London Marathon, and will use the event to challenge herself and inspire others. This will done by completing 12 challenges in 12 months.
Sally is attempting to break her own 2009 record for the fastest marathon dressed as fruit. In 2009 she was an orange, and on this occasion she will be dressed as a ‘Pink Lady’ apple.
Sally has previously served in Afghanistan, on an Operational Tour of Duty, as a physiotherapist.
She understands the physical and mental health difficulties faced by members of the Armed Forces. For this reason she is supporting ‘Combat Stess’, a charity that supports soldiers struggling with the effects of war.
Record to Beat: 4 hours 32 minutes 28 seconds
John Melbourne – Fastest marathon in a full-body animal costume (male)
33 from Surrey
John’s decision to dress as a chicken for this this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon is influenced by his passion for chickens.
He has 6 at home, all ex-commercial laying hens rescued by the ‘British Hen Welfare Trust’ – his chosen charity. This is a cause close to his heart as he aims to improve and change the way in which farming caged hens happens today.
John has run an astonishing 28 marathons as well as 10 ultra-marathons – and, to prepare for this year’s race, he has been running 70-100 miles per week in preparation.
Away from running, John is the Logistics Manager at Dairycrest and lives with his wife Nellie in Tadsworth, Surrey.
Record to Beat: 3 hours 31 minutes 36 seconds
Tony Phoenix-Morrison - Fastest marathon carrying a household appliance
49 from Tyneside
This will be the 150th time Tony has gone the marathon distance, and his 62nd carrying his 42kg fridge. He will be running for Cancer Research UK. Tony says “the fridge symbolises the huge burden we all feel when a loved one is struck down by this awful disease.”
Tom spends most of his working life inspiring people to cope through adversity, by giving Inspirational talks and carrying out Extreme Challenges. In his spare time, he also works in his marketing business and fitness studio
Tony is an avid Guinness World Records fan and would love to achieve a record.
Record to beat: 5 hours
Gill Begnor - Fastest marathon carrying 20-lb back pack (female)
48 from Banbury
This will be Gill’s 4th marathon, having previously achieved a Guinness World Record for the ‘fastest marathon dressed as a bottle’.
Gill is a Programme Manager and has 2 kids and one “very supportive partner who selflessly kicks me out of bed at 6am to train before work!”
Gill is raising money for ‘Cancer Research UK’, for which she runs a local fund raising group. Gill has seen first-hand how much suffering the disease can cause and hopes to raise £2k for the cause.
Record to beat: 5 hours 30 minutes