Guinness World Records™, has partnered with the Virgin Money London Marathon for the eighth successive year to provide on-the-spot record verification to over 100 runners at this year’s 35th anniversary instalment of the most iconic marathon in the world. With a diverse range of runners and an incredible array of fancy dress on show, it looks set to be the best year of record-breaking yet which will raise thousands of pounds for a variety of worthy charities.
“We’ve been overwhelmed with the number of applications we have received this year," said Guinness World Records SVP of Records, Marco Frigatti.
"We’re all delighted that record breaking has been taken to the heart of the Virgin Money London Marathon running community. We’re all very excited to be adjudicating live on the day – it doesn’t get much better than making someone a world record holder on the finish line of the London Marathon!”
Meet some of the competitors hoping for a piece of record-breaking glory.
Fastest marathon dribbling two basketballs
Jerry Knox, 45, from Los Angeles
Fresh from breaking the fastest marathon whilst dribbling a basketball at the Camarillo Marathon in January 2015 in a time of 3 hr 11 min 26 sec, American Jerry Knox is looking to now conquer the Virgin Money London Marathon. This will be Californian based Jerry’s 58th marathon and he is hoping that he can better his current time and earn a spot in the Guinness World Records 2016 edition, a book he has loved since a child. Away from running, Jerry is a Geography teacher and married father of two children.
Record to beat: 4 hr 39 min 12 sec
Fastest marathon wearing high heels (female)
Natalie Eckert, 37, from Stoke
This will be 37 year-old Natalie’s first ever marathon and she has decided to run it in quite possibly the toughest footwear imaginable: high heels! Natalie wants to be the first ever person to complete the marathon in high heels and must run in under 7 hours. She is also aiming to raise money for Asthma UK as she and her son both suffer from asthma. The heels are 3 inches high, bought from a regular high street chain. She has been a runner for years so decided to do something a little different for her first marathon. Achieving a Guinness World Records title would mean everything to her – her children would be so proud.
Chosen charity: ASTHMA UK
Record to beat: 7 hours
Donation page: justgiving.com/teams/teamstiletto
Fastest marathon dressed as a boxer
Justin Hennessey, 44, from Gravesend, Kent
Casino Croupier Justin Hennessey from Gravesend is lacing his gloves as he takes on the Virgin Money London Marathon for the first time. Having run a dozen marathons before and an IronMan competition, as well as generally maintaining a high level of fitness, Justin is hoping he can beat the current time of 3:35:34. He has always wanted to have a Guinness World Records certificate on his wall, mainly to impress his young daughter!
Record to beat: 3 hr 35 min 34 sec
Fastest marathon dressed as a plant
Andrew Smith, 36, from London
London based Andrew, who is a researcher fellow at University College London carrying out research into the genetics of cardiovascular disease, has his heart set on achieving a Guinness World Records title. This will be his 14th marathon and fifth Virgin Money London Marathon in total and has an affiliation with attempting records having run the race dressed as a Zombie, item of fruit and tallest costume but this year he wants a record for dressing up as cacti. Andrew is ruining to raise money to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research to mark 10 years since his father passed away from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and would like to raise £2000.
Chosen charity: Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research
Record to beat: 4 hours 30 min
Donation page: justgiving.com/cactus
Fastest marathon dressed as a framed painting (female)
Gemma Kirkham, 33, from Bedford
Gemma always wanted to set the world records for the fastest 100m but, once she discovered this was an unrealistic ambition, she decided to set her sights on becoming the fastest marathon runner in a picture frame. The full time Mother of three, will depict the Mona Lisa and is adapting to running in the rather unique nattier of which she has no access to her arms. Gemma will be raising money for the Lullaby Trust who support families following the death of their infant to SIDS. Making it into the Guinness World Records 2016 book would be a dream come true for her.
Chosen charity: Lullaby Trust
Record to beat: 4 hours 30 min
Donation page: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Marathonmona
Fastest Marathon dressed as a leprechaun
Adam Jones, 28, from Sussex
Multi skilled Adam Jones from Sussex, who is a qualified ski, climbing and kayak instructor, is looking to break the world record for the fastest marathon dressed as a leprechaun. Having run the Virgin Money London Marathon in an impressive time of 2 hours 58 minutes, he would better the current record by over ten minutes. Adam will be running to raise money for Scope having worked closely with disabled people and cherishes the experience he has working with them in sporting activities.
Chosen charity: Scope
Record to beat: 3 hr 09 min 40 sec
Fastest Marathon carrying an 80lb Pack
Marc Jenner, 39, from Tunbridge Wells
Marc has had previous experience running the Virgin Money London Marathon with a heavy load having run as a Rhino and in a large Bagpuss costume in two of his 15 outings on the famous course. Marc is attempting the world record for a number of reasons: firstly, his mother is sadly fighting cancer and he wants to do her proud by completing the race; secondly, he turns 40, and wants to take his mind off that; finally, fight child institutions and underequipped orphanages that sadly still exist in Europe. Having worked in Romania for nearly five years, Marc holds this charity close to his heart.
Chosen charity: Hope and Homes for Children (based in Romania)
Record to beat: 5 hr 58 min 58 sec
Donation page: justgiving.com/marcjenner
Fastest marathon dressed as a telephone box
Thomas Bolton from Loughborough
Lifelong fan of the Guinness World Records Book having first bough a copy in 1988, Thomas has his hearts set on making it into the famous book dressed as Tardis from Dr Who. Why you ask? Well he currently works for the London Met Police and he came up with the idea after reading the Virgin Money London Marathon Magazine and wanted to get involved in some capacity. He also ran the course in 2013 and enjoyed the buzz so much he wanted another go, this time running with his daughter who convinced him to take part. is raising funds for Headway which specialises in providing care for people lives after brain surgery.
Chosen charity: Headway
Record to beat: 5 hr 54 min 52 sec
Donation page: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Tardis
Fastest Marathon in a three-person costume
Andy Church, Heather Smith and Laura Jones
51, 49 and 40 from Witney, Oxon
‘You’ve got a friend in me’ - well three actually, as a group of runners from Witney, who all represent the same running club, will be dressed as quite possibly the most iconic animated film characters of all time: Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and Woody from Toy Story. All three have run over 40 marathons between them and will be connected together in ‘Andy’s Toybox’. The reason for the costume, well, this is Andy’s favourite film and was dared on New Year’s Eve – along with his wife Heather - to attempt a record and complete a marathon. Heather roped in another friend and fellow runner at their club Witney Road Runners in the shape of Laura Jones, whose husband provided the plastic plumbing pipes from his own business to create the costume. Achieving a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title will mean the world to the trio in terms of helping put Witney Road Runners on the map as well as raising funds for Action Pulmonary Fibrosis, a cause close their heart having lost a friend/running member to the rare condition who once ran the London Marathon.
Chosen charity: Action Pulmonary Fibrosis
Record to beat: 5 hours 45 min
Donation page: justgiving.com/Laura-Jones68
Fastest marathon three legged (female)
Debbie Leeland & Paula Marshall, both 33 from Yateley and Billingshurst
Friends Debbie and Paula will be putting their friendship to the test when they will attempt to complete the Virgin Money London Marathon course tied together. In what will have to be a coordinated and well-paced attempt, the pair must run in under 4 and a half hours to achieve a Guinness World Records title.
Chosen charity: PhabKids
Record to beat: 4 hr 30 min
Donation page: virginmoneygiving.com/vmlm2015_3-legged
Fastest marathon dressed as a three-dimensional dinosaur
Ian Bates, 44, from Crawley
One of a number of brand new categories for 2015 is Fastest marathon dressed as a three-dimensional dinosaur. Taking on this mammoth task is 44 year old Ian Bates, who had the idea while watching TV show Walking with Dinosaurs with his young son seven years ago, and is finally making his and his son’s dream, a reality. Weighing in at a whopping 25kg and measuring 2.5m in length, it really has to be seen to be believed. Ian has been running marathons since 2000, and claims he has been addicted to running since his first training session 15 years ago. Running for St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley, Ian will be targeting a time of 5 hours or under to conquer the world.
Chosen charity: St Catherines Hospice Crawley
Donation page: www.justgiving.com/bates44
Fastest marathon wearing a bomb disposal suit
Iain Church, 41, from Faringdon, Oxfordshire
This will be Iain’s fourth marathon and second wearing a bomb disposal suit – Iain is hitting the London streets to try and break his own record! The 41 year old Army Officer is currently serving in the Royal Engineers, Iain is running in support of the Royal British Legion and aims to raise a total of £50,000 through his run, and various other fundraising activities undertaken by himself and his colleagues as part of the ‘Bomb Suit Challenge’.
Chosen charity: Royal British Legion
Record to beat: 6 hr 55 min 59 sec