Chipping Norton resident Gill Begnor is in training for this year’s Virgin London Marathon, which she is taking on to raise money for blood cancer charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Gill, 46, will be running all 26.2 miles of the marathon on Sunday 22 April while wearing an 11 ½lb Hook Norton Beer bottle costume in her attempt to win back the Guinness World Record she first set in 2010. That year, Gill became the fastest person to complete a marathon dressed as a bottle, completing the race dressed as the Hooky Pint in four hours, 54 minutes and 36 seconds. But last October Sarah Hayes, running for the Loweswater brewery in the Lake District, completed the Chester marathon about 20 minutes faster to take the record.
Gill said: “I contacted Sarah to congratulate her last year. Despite having sworn I wouldn’t do the challenge again, I was soon in training to try to reclaim my record at this year’s Virgin London Marathon!”
Her training has seen Gill run up and down the hills around her home town of Chipping Norton in a weighted vest that simulates the costume she’ll wear. She is averaging four runs each week, and is up to 20 miles on her longer runs. With less than four weeks until the event, her preparations will become more intense.
On the day Gill will join the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research running team, The Unstoppables.
Gill said: “I work with one of the children’s wish charities and over the last two years I have helped arrange wishes for children suffering from blood cancer. Some of the children have come through years of grueling treatment and have a good chance of survival. It’s a wonderful testament to the work of Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, which has brought us to a stage where nine out of ten survive the most common form of childhood leukaemia. However, a little boy with lymphoma who we arranged a wish for died shortly afterwards and it’s tragedies like this that make me determined not to stop running until we have found a cure for these terrible diseases.”
Dan Solley, Head of Sports Events at Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, said: “We wish Gill the best of luck in regaining her record at the Virgin London Marathon. Every penny raised for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research will be invested in research that is making a real difference to the lives of people with blood cancer including leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.”
You can support Gill as she runs to beat blood cancer by visiting her fundraising page at www.JustGiving.com/HookyPintForTheRecord
You can also track her progress on Twitter by following @HookyPint