For two runners in this year’s London Marathon the drinks will be ‘on them’ throughout Sunday 17 April as they compete to set a new Guinness World Record for ‘fastest marathon by a man dressed as a bottle’.
Mark Wilding and Gavin Rees, who will run the 26.2-mile race dressed as bottles of real ale Old Hooky and Lucozade Sport, aim to cap their record attempt by raising money for their chosen charities, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Save the Children.
Both are urging the public to ‘back a bottle’ by making a £2 donation in return for the chance to win a year’s supply of Lucozade Sport or beer from the Hook Norton brewery in Oxfordshire, which produces Old Hooky.
Mark Wilding, from Toronto, Canada, is running in the Old Hooky bottle to support the blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. He was inspired to take up the challenge after reading the story of Hook Norton resident Gill Begnor, who holds the record for ‘the fastest marathon by a woman dressed as a bottle’, after completing last year’s London marathon in the suit.
Mark, 44, says: "Gill did a great job and raised a ton of money for a great charity, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. The London Marathon is different from runs in Canada - here more people take part for good causes. My goal is to raise as much money as possible for vital research into blood cancer and hopefully get my name in the record books!"
Before the bottles go head to head Mark will have time for just three training runs in the suit, purchased by Hook Norton to help Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research find better treatments and cures for all beat blood cancers.
"I’m a bit worried about the suit shortening my stride pattern - I’ve been running with a back-pack with weights so that should be OK," says Mark. Everyone knows Lucozade can help you run a marathon, but lets see if I can do it in a beer bottle suit!"
All those who make a £2 donation will be automatically entered into a draw to win a free supply of the drink they supported - either a 12 month supply of Lucozade or one pint of beer from the Hook Norton brewery everyday for a year.
Gavin Rees, running in the Lucozade Sport bottle on behalf of Save the Children’s Japanese Tsunami and earthquake appeal, said: "The back your bottle campaign is a really fun way for us to raise as much money as we can for our charities.
"Running 26.2 miles in a bottle suit will be a massive challenge for me. I’ve been getting some rather strange looks from the other runners in the park whilst training in my bottle, but it’s well worth it if we raise lots of money for charity, plus I might just end up as a Guinness World Record holder!"
Back the Old Hooky bottle to beat blood cancer!
Back Mark to beat the record and give yourself a chance to win free beer from the Hook Norton Brewery at: www.backyourbottle.co.uk