No reining in was needed for Phil Cape and Roger Taylor at Sunday’s MBNA Chester Marathon (8 October). The record-breaking duo ran the fastest marathon dressed as a pantomime horse for Lucas’ Legacy.
The pair from Stone Master Marathoners (Stone MM) were amongst a packed field of runners on a fast, flat course that took in many of Chester’s iconic landmarks. These included the Cathedral, Roman Walls and the Eastgate Clock. They set off at 9am from Chester Racecourse and headed out into the Cheshire and North Wales countryside before returning along the River Dee to finish back at the Racecourse.
The idea for the horse-powered attempt originated from a humorous discussion between Phil and Roger on the Stone MM Facebook page. Phil mentioned about gait analysis and how his running technique has an ‘equine’ look and feel, leading to a conversation about the current Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon dressed as a pantomime horse. The seed was planted…
Their preparation included in-depth research about the requirements and training runs – with and without the costume. Both men were experienced, sub-3-hour marathoners but running for more than four hours inside a heavy costume took the challenge to another level.
The Big Day arrived and the pair were nervous but determined to succeed. Not only were they attempting to set a new world record they were also fundraising for Lucas’ Legacy Childhood Brain Tumour Research in memory of 6-year old Lucas Williams. They were quick out of the gate and were averaging 10 minute/miling and a projected sub 4:30 finish at 20K. This pace slowed by the time they reached 24/25 miles due to tiredness and the weight of the costume plus the fact they couldn’t see where they were going and had to rely upon guide runners!
Onto the Racecourse and the home straight where they put their best hooves forward to cross the finish line in 4:35:05 and a new Guinness World Record.
Photo courtesy of Kathryn Taylor.