Several people told me that I should have applied for a World Record before the 2016 London Marathon, however to set one you need to apply several months in advance. For 2017 I decided to apply as early as possible. Things didn’t go to plan though. First of all I applied for ‘Longest Run Dressed as a Stormtrooper’, or at least I thought I did. However, what I hadn’t realised is my auto correct on my computer changed a key word. What I actually applied for was ‘Longest Rub Dressed as a Stormtrooper’.
The Guinness World Record staff saw the funny side of this but informed me that they don’t recognise any distance running in fancy dress apart from Half Marathon and Full Marathon, so regardless of how far I manage to run on May the 4th it won’t be eligible for a World Record. Therefore i then successfully applied for a World Record for the London Marathon, however again with World Records nothing is straight forward.
They informed me that my application “Fastest Marathon dressed in Stormtrooper Armour’ had been accepted as ‘Fastest Marathon dressed as a Star Wars character’ as apparently a Stormtrooper was too specific. So someone running dressed in a Princess Leia dress or Han Solo Shirt & Trousers is the same challenge as someone running in full Stormtrooper armour?? I wasn’t pleased. This wasn't a level playing field.
They then informed me that to qualify for the record i'd need to beat 4 hrs 45 minutes and 00 seconds. This was a target that I knew this Stormtrooper wouldn't be able to hit. Last year i only ran the Marathon, no silly 4 x Half Marathons the week before, no ridiculous distances 11 days later, I was at the peak of my fitness and it took me over 5hrs. There was no way i'd make less than 4hrs 45 just a few days after Orlando. Therefore setting/breaking a World Record was something I wasn't going to worry too much about. I wanted to raise £10,000, trying to set a record may help me reach the target but it was the least of my priorities. Even thinking about doing the marathon any quicker than I had done last year made me feel funny. Trying to knock off 16 minutes seemed impossible and I certainly didn’t want to over do it and jeopardise my 40 miler which was just 11 days after London! The Guinness World Record attempt was not gonna happen.
I messaged Guiness and said that i wouldn't be trying for it anymore as it wouldn't have been possible. A week later they informed me that after analysing the intricacies of my costume and recognising the difficulties that it would pose they recalculated the qualification time to 4 hrs 59 seconds and 59 seconds. This was still faster than last year in perfect conditions, in perfect fitness with everything going for me. Was i going to go for it though??
You bet your life I was! :)