Huntingdonshire man not allowed to pull Aga in London Marathon
- Credit: Solent News and Photo Agency
ORGANISERS of the London Marathon have pulled the plug on Pete Digby’s plans to haul an oven around the 26.2-mile course.
The former soldier, who lives near Spaldwick, wanted to drag an Aga behind him for Sunday’s race and in doing so complete a unique hat-trick, having carried a fridge and then a washing machine at previous marathons.
Mr Digby and running partner and brake man Paul Milson did 18 miles with the oven – which they nicknamed Agatha – on the guided busway last Saturday (April 6). Donations for the Afghanistan Trust, their chosen charity, had topped £3,000. But when the company responsible for the run heard what they intended doing, it put the brakes on the idea.
Nicola Okey, the marathon’s head of press, said: “He wanted to pull an Aga on wheels but he hadn’t read the rules which say no wheeled objects on the course. He also hadn’t come to the organisers to tell us about the challenge. We found out from reading a newspaper. Our chief executive went back and asked for a health and safety report and we didn’t get one.”
Ms Okey said runners with unusual requests were encouraged to try out their plans at the Silverstone half marathon, held in March. She added that it was not uncommon for the organisers to refuse ideas.
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Mr Digby, who still has a place in the marathon, said he was gutted by the decision. “We spent months planning and training and health and safety has stopped us. I have not done this lightly. If I’m pulling a 250kg Aga, that’s a risk for me, not anyone else.”
Mr Digby even suggested and tested an alternative method – pulling the Aga on ski-like pieces of bullet-proof plastic – but that was also turned down. “I came up with a solution to comply with the rules and they have cited health and safety. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in.”
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Despite the setback, the 42-year-old says he and Mr Milson still intend to run in London on Sunday in aid of the trust, which supports Parachute Regiment soldiers who have served in Afghanistan and their families.
He has also vowed that on another occasion he will complete the marathon distance with the Aga, probably on the guided busway.
“I’m going to complete the mission,” he said. “I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me by sponsoring me and obviously I hope they will still want to support me.”
INFORMATION: To sponsor him, visit www.justgiving.com/agaman