Publicity expert Paul Jackson
publicises his latest venture (lots
more to follow)
Members of Team Isle of Man Fell Runners have announced that they are to run
the Manx Mountain Marathon this year in rhino suits to raise money for wildlife
charity 'Save the Rhino'.Team spokesman Tony Okell explains "Ian Gale,
Simon Skillicorn and myself will be doing the rhino run whilst other team
members will act as support team/zookeepers".
Tony, Simon & Ian at the costume
The suits they were originally built for a theatre company. Inside is a
plastic lining which creates a sweat box - someone described it once as running
in a giant crisp packet. Very noisy, very hot, very sweaty - not designed for
running in any way whatsoever.
Tony, head down, practices
a downhill charge in training with team mate Ian
Tony, Ian and Simon had planned to use the suits in the Bradda fell
race for a practice run, but soon discovered in training that they would
suffer really badly with the heat and weight of the costumes. "So we went
back to the person who built the original costumes" Tony explained -
"the same person who built the Teletubbies and she created a new suit for
us. It's about a third lighter and instead of a plastic liner it's got gauze
panels so the air flows through it" .
"I ran up South Barrule in it last week" added Tony, "much to
the bemusement of the hikers and dog-walkers, and it was a revelation. Normally
I'm sweating within 20 seconds but this one felt great. Purist runners will
think that we don't stand a hope in hell and as the race day approaches I'm
increasingly thinking, 'Why am I doing this?' It just hadn't crossed my mind
until recently just how tough it's going to be. I keep waking up in a cold
sweat, having had nightmares about dropping bottles of water and watching them
disappear rolling down the hill".
Running marathons in costume is great fun - and a seven-foot rhino running
down Carraghyn or Cronk ny Arree Laa is sure to turn people's heads.