A soldier based at RAF Wyton will be running this year’s London Marathon in a suit of armour as part of a world-record breaking attempt.
Sgt Paul Beddows, from Sawtry, is taking part in the event on April 22 to raise money for the armed forces charity SSAFA
The 33-year-old, who is based at RAF Wyton, will run the 26,2 miles will run in a full set of armour, which weighs 35k.
In order to earn his place in the record books and break the current Guiness world Record for the ‘fastest marathon in a suit of armour’, he needs to finish in under six hours and 46 minutes.
Paul, who has worked in the Intelligence Corps since 2004, has already completed four Ironman triathlons, and wanted to set himself a new challenge.
He says he felt inspired to carry out this challenge on behalf of SSAFA, having witnessed first-hand the ways in which the charity provides help and support for the military community.
“I’ve wanted to do a charity event for quite some time, but I knew it would be hard to get people to sponsor me for doing what I enjoy. I decided that I needed to find a challenge that would not only get a lot of support but also provide me with the challenge I was looking for.
“I saw last year’s marathon and how many world records were broken, which got me looking into the records that were out there and that I could potentially beat. I found the record for the fastest marathon in a suit of armour and went from there. This currently sits at six hours, 46 minutes, 59 seconds and the record has stood since September, 2008. Having started training in my armour, I can see why.
It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time, but now the realities are sinking in. I can’t just slip the armour on and head out by myself, I need help to get into it, and nearly every step I take in it hurts. But I have no doubt that I will finish the marathon - and am quietly confident that I’ll have a good chance of breaking the record too.”
Jonathan Sandall, director of fundraising at SSAFA, added: “Every mile that Paul runs will make a difference to the lives of our forces and their families, with all money raised going towards helping continue the vital work of SSAFA, the UK’s oldest military charity.
“We wish him the best of luck with the rest of his training and we will be at the London Marathon in April to cheer him on as he attempts to break the current world record.”