Some of the costumes worn by marathon runners who have achieved Guinness World Records titles

From the day Pheidippides made his infamous journey in 490 BC people have been strapping on their sandals (and more recently running shoes) and running just over 26 miles for the fun of it. 

While we can't all run a marathon as fast as Eliud Kipchoge or Paula Radcliffe, that doesn't stop us wanting to be the best. That is why we have extended our running gear to include fancy dress, washing machines and even stilts. 

Guinness World Records (GWR) works with a number of events including the Virgin Money London Marathon, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Blackmore's Sydney Marathon and the BMW Berlin Marathon. But you're not restricted to these.

Here are our top 10 tips to have an Officially Amazing race day.

The fastest marathon dressed as a swimmer is 2 hours 42 minutes 24 seconds, achieved by Joe Spraggins at the 2017 London Marathon

1. Get out and run

If the only running you've done recently is running a bath after a long day then you might want to consider pulling on your shoes and getting outdoors. Running a marathon is no easy feat on its own so adding a restriction such as a costume or heavy load is only going to make it more difficult. Be aware of your abilities before applying for that race.

The most runners linked to complete a marathon is 24, achieved by Metropolitan Police officers at the London Marathon 2008

2. Apply for that race

There are more marathons happening across the globe than ever before so take your time to chose one that suits you. To qualify for a Guinness World Records title your run will need to be at an officially sanctioned race, certified by a national athletic governing body - e.g. USA Track and Field or United Kingdom Athletics - so take that into consideration. Also some marathons don't allow costumes or have restrictions on what types are allowed, so keep that in mind when making your decision. Most importantly of all is to be realistic with your timeframes. Don't book a marathon happening next Wednesday if you haven’t made any decisions on which record you want to break.

The fastest marathon on stilts is 6 hours 37 minutes 38 seconds by Michelle Frost (UK) at the London Marathon 2018

3. Be inspired

You know you want to run. You know you want a challenge. But which one? There are a host of possibilities. From weighted packs for the super fit to dressing as your kids favourite cartoon character to make them proud. Maybe there's a group of you and you want to try and break a record together. Find something that means something to you and embrace it. Alternatively have a look at our website for current fastest marathon records and see what times you could feasibly beat…

The fastest marathon dressed as an emoji (female) is 4 hours 18 minutes 6 seconds and was achieved by Victoria Bell at the London Marathon 2018

4. Apply

A standard application can take up to 12 weeks to be processed. That means there could be 12 weeks from the day you apply to the date you receive your approval (or rejection) so plan with this in mind. Guinness World Records has official partnerships with a number of marathons around the globe which may allow your application to be expedited, so check to see if yours qualifies.

The tallest costume worn while running a marathon measured 4.27 m (14 ft) tall, worn by Tim Rogers (UK), at the London Marathon 2007

5. Submit your costume

When you receive your guidelines they will include the requirements and rules around the costume or challenge they relate to. READ THESE CLOSELY. If you don't meet the criteria of the record then your whole attempt will be disqualified (no-one wants to run 26 miles dressed as a rabbit only to find out their ears weren't long enough). All costumes have to be pre-approved by GWR so submit your costume, or a design, as soon as possible. This will mean if any changes are required you've got time to make them.

The fastest marathon with two runners hand cuffed together (male) is 3 hours 15 minutes 42.5 seconds by Victor Frève-Boucher and Freüd Fortier-Chouinard at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2018

6. Practice

Once your application has been accepted and everything has been approved get out and practice. It's important to put on your costume or strap on your pack and have a run in it. It's only once you've started running that you'll discover just how difficult the challenge ahead will be. This is also a good time to make any amendments that may be necessary to avoid the inevitable, and sometimes surprising, chafing…

The fastest marathon carrying a household appliance (white goods) is 5 hours 49 minutes 37 seconds by Richard Gray at the London Marathon 2018

7. Check the evidence requirements

At marathons we have an official partnership with we are able to monitor all runners and the race itself so minimal evidence is required from runners. When we aren't present however there is a whole list of evidence that must be submitted to support your claim. Make sure you know what you need to submit and if you have any questions, just ask!

The fastest marathon in a six-person costume is 6 hours 20 minutes 49 seconds at the London Marathon 2018

8. Get sponsored

Running a marathon is a great way to raise money for a charity but running a marathon in a full suit of armour is even better. Find a charity that means something to you and use this opportunity to help them out. You may even be able to coordinate your costume. Running dressed as a rhino while raising money for Save the Rhino? Genius!

The fastest marathon dressed as Elvis (female) is 3 hours 53 minutes 56 seconds by Stacey Harper at the 2018 London Marathon

9. Last minute checks

When race day approaches have an internal checklist to make sure you’re ready and you've thought of everything. Is my costume ready? Will it fit in the car? Where will I keep my gels and water? Do I have witnesses organised? Have I charged my camera? Make sure that everything is organised so, on the day, all you have to worry about is running.

The fastest marathon in film character costume (male) is 2 hours 36 minutes 28 seconds by Rob Pope (UK), dressed as Forrest Gump at London Marathon 2018

10. Become Officially Amazing

On the day all you can do is your best. If you aren’t successful there will always be another marathon for you to try again (your application will remain active for a year if you don't submit evidence). If you are successful then firstly have a drink, you've earned it, and secondly start to collate all of your evidence and submit it for approval. If all is well then you will soon have a Guinness World Records certificate to go alongside your medal. You might want to throw the costume out though, it’s starting to smell a bit…

Feeling inspired? Places are now open for next year's Virgin Money London Marathon which will take place on Sunday 26 April 2020. Anyone wishing to attempt an official Guinness World Records title with on-the-day verification must apply by Friday 31 January 2020.