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Elastic challenge for Abingdon Marathon runners tied together at the waist
1:10pm Monday 10th September 2012 in News
AS IF running 26.2 miles is not hard enough, five friends have been roped in to raise the stakes at the Abingdon Marathon, writes Emma Harrison .
The charity runners will be joined at the waist with elastic cords when they take on the marathon on October 21.
The group – Julian Richardson, 48, from Kennington, Aaron Burgess, 30, from Abingdon, Darrell Bellinger, 28, from Cowley, and Les Newell, 37, and Chris Bedford, 48, both from Radley – hope to run faster than three hours, one minute, and set a new world record for a marathon by five runners joined together.
Mr Richardson – who already has an impressive seven marathons under his belt – told the Oxford Mail: “We have all done marathons on our own and you speed up and slow down a lot even though you try to keep a steady pace.
“We are all going to be speeding up and slowing down at different times – that is our main challenge.
“We can have a bit of banter and keep each other going. But if someone falls down we are in trouble.”
He added: “It was Les’s idea. We took a bit of persuading to do this and it is just for fun really. We all train together and it is something to aim for.”
Mr Newell, who manages the sports centre at Radley College, has run two marathons before.
He said: “We started training on Fridays after work, when we run about 18 miles. One day I looked at world records and saw this and thought that it would be great – something that the five of us could do.
“One of the guys can run a marathon in two hours, 58 minutes as an individual, so it’s a tough little challenge.”
On what the runners will do if one of them needs a toilet break, Mr Richardson said: “We are assuming we would be attached at all times, but we are all good friends!”
The group, who are members of Oxford City Athletics Club and Abingdon Athletics Club, are raising money for Oxfordshire-based charity Mates ‘n’ Dates.
The charity is run by the Guide Posts Trust and organises social events for adults with learning disabilities. Mr Richardson said: “I have worked with learning disability services for social services.
“Les’s wife used to work with adults with learning disabilities and Aaron’s nephew has a learning disability.
“So we want to raise awareness of the charity.”
- Sponsor the team by visiting justgiving.com/teams/ fridaylongrunners