David’s towering effort in marathon

A runner wearing a costume of The Blackpool Tower during the 32nd Virgin London Marathon in London
A runner wearing a costume of The Blackpool Tower during the 32nd Virgin London Marathon in London
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IF you think running a marathon is an impressive feat, how about when you’ve got a 26ft aluminium Blackpool Tower strapped to your back?

That is exactly what Pilling runner David Lawrenson did when he took on the London Marathon yesterday.

The determined 39-year-old not only finished the 26-mile challenge in seven hours, he also bagged a Guinness World Record for the tallest costume worn by a runner.

Mr Lawrenson, a self-employed builder who built the impressive replica of the iconic structure himself, said: “It was a fantastic experience.

“I have smashed the world record by 3ft. The costume was 26ft 2ins – a foot for every mile.

“I had to crawl across the finishing line on my hands and knees because the gantry was too low!”

Many runners from across the Fylde coast took to the streets of London.

St Annes athlete Shelly Woods stormed home to win the wheelchair race by three minutes from her nearest rival.

She will now hope to take the winning form into this summer’s Paralympic Games.

Mr Lawrenson’s huge fancy dress costume, which weighed 17.5kg, certainly attracted a lot of attention from the crowd and fellow runners.

Mr Lawrenson, who is raising money for Cerebral Palsy charity Scope, added: “I was really running four different races. First of all I had to dodge lots of wires and trees and then the next section I got quite a lot of running done.

“When I got to mile 21 the wind really picked up and I was having to lean into the wind and then I had to tackle the bridges.

“I had great support from Tom Dixon from Scope who ran with me the whole way.

“It was mental, the atmosphere was amazing. The crowd was fantastic - people were saying ‘well done, mate, can’t believe you’re doing it’. I’ve even been interviewed by Chinese television.

“It was incredible, I’m so pleased I’ve finished it and got the world record.”

Kate Shane, Blackpool Tower general manager, said: “When we heard that David was running the London Marathon as The Blackpool Tower we were so impressed by his creativity and determination. It’s a fantastic boost for the resort and the whole team was really routing for him.”

To donate log on to www.virginmoneygiving.com/DavidLawrenson