A CHARITY champion will have a world record in his sights when he gets on the starting ‘lion’ for this year’s Great North Run.
Chris Marshall will be taking on the half marathon for the fifth time – and he decided to liven up the challenge by completing the race in a lion outfit.
The 24-year-old’s ‘mane’ attraction for the fundraising feat is raising vital cash for Asthma UK – but an added bonus is beating the global best of 1.37.07 for finishing the Great North Run in an animal outfit.
Mr Marshall, a graphic designer, from Whiteleas, South Shields, is so keen to be king of the jungle, he has devised a special training regime for his record bid.
He said: “I have been out running in two pairs of socks and shorts and putting on extra T-shirts. I have been doing this since January, and I am getting used to it now.
“The record was set last year, and I thought I would have a go at trying to beat it.
“I am hoping to raise £5,000 as this is my fifth Great North Run.”
Mr Marshall suffered from asthma earlier in his life and is eager to raise as many pounds for the charity’s work.
He added: “I have done this run four times now, and so wanted to make my fifth a little bit special.
“So this one is not only going to be a big push to raise money and awareness for the Asthma UK charity, but also a world record attempt in the making.”
The experienced runner has been in touch with the Guinness book of World Records and has had his attempt authorised ahead of the Great North Run on Sunday, September 15.
The fastest half-marathon time was set at the Great North Run by Richard Bazeley last year, while he was sporting a sheep outfit.
That new best smashed the previous record of 1.51.07, set by New Zealander Caleb Koia-Hamling in a patriotic Kiwi suit in May last year at the Huntly Half Marathon.
Mr Marshall chose the lion outfit as a symbol of England – and he is determined to ensure the record stays in this country.
If you would like to support Mr Marshall’s Great North Run effort, you can log onto www.justgiving.com/chris-marshall5
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