Not long after I handed the costume back to Steve Buckley (who loaned it to me for 2016) and carried on with my life, I felt the urge to do more for Make A Wish. Slight problem though, i’ve now run 2 marathons one of which was dressed as a Stormtrooper, what else could I do that would generate some charity money?
Simple, get the costume again and run an Ultra marathon (40 miler). Then it occurred to me, its all about the number 40! In 2017 Star Wars is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary, I’m in my forties, therefore my next challenge will be a Stormtrooper 40 miler!
I started to hatch the plan… I can imagine Steve’s face and probable eye roll when he read the message I sent him saying “Hey Steve, please can I borrow the costume again, or buy it off you”. To my delight Steve went one better. He offered to donate an old Stormtrooper kit that he had bought years ago with another kit but never put it together (cutting it, trimming it, rivets, special plastic glues, velcro, plastic trimming). Putting a kit together takes some specialist skills and fortunately I had an ace up my sleeve. In early 2016 I discovered by chance that a man who worked where I do (2000+ people), was another utterly selfless man from the UK Garrison, Phil Parker.
During the build up to the 2016 London Marathon Phil was the genius who used his costuming talents to literally keep the Running Stormtrooper on the road, making repairs whenever required. When Phil heard that Steve had donated a kit he immediately gave me a shopping list of the bits I’d need to buy and said that he would help get this new costume sorted for me. Two stelar gentlemen. All I then needed to do was get a new helmet, fortunately, yet again the UK Garrison stepped up and I was amazed to receive an unpainted, unprepared helmet from a gentleman called Ross Walmsley. Seriously, these UKG chaps are so amazing.
So that was it, a costume in the making, now for the 40 mile part.