The Kilomathon: one runner’s dress rehearsal for London Marathon record attempt

Alistair Smith is taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon for the first time in 2016 with the combined goals of raising money for charity and breaking an official Guinness World Record.

The 39-year-old from Edinburgh will be wearing a nurse’s outfit - complete with hat - when he runs the London Marathon next month on behalf of MS-UK. He hopes to break the world record for the fastest marathon dressed as a nurse. To accomplish this, he needs to run a quick time: 2:45 or faster.

But before that, Alistair will test his fitness close to home at the Kilomathon - an event which has been certified as a five-star road race by European Athletics Running For All - held in Edinburgh on 20 March.

“That is my dress rehearsal,” he said on the 13.1km event. “I’m definitely wearing [the outfit] at the Kilomathon.”

With mass participation races such as the Kilomathon attracting such a wide cross section of runners, Alistair isn’t expecting to feel overly conspicuous when he lines up on Ocean Terminal this weekend.

Alistair wants to run a marathon partly to make sure he can cross it off his bucket list “before old age sets in” but he is running it for charitable purpose as well. A record attempt - combined with the unconventional running garb - will undoubtedly draw attention to his cause.

“When my mother-in-law was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis over 30 years ago, there was very limited support available. She has been a brave and inspirational woman over the years,  and I think she would have benefitted from the sort of help MS-UK can offer,” he explains.

Alistair won’t be the first member of his family to run for the charity as he points out. “My wife ran for MS-UK back in 2009 and being the slightly competitive spouse that I am, I hope to raise more and run faster than she did!” he said tongue-in-cheek.

Alistair’s target time of 2:45 - a very respectable time for a club-level runner - requires a fastidious build-up with weeks and weeks of solid mileage under his belt but has he dared to do any training in his race-day outfit yet?

“Not so far,” he said. “I should do but I keep putting it off. Pounding the dark streets of Edinburgh at night in a nurse outfit doesn't appeal massively.”

But Sunday’s race will be the dress rehearsal for London in the most literal sense of the term although he is quick to emphasise that running dressed as a nurse isn’t the aspect of the challenge which causes undue stress.

“The thought of spending nearly three hours sweating in public while dressed as a nurse doesn’t bother me much at all – the thought of running a 2.45 marathon does!”

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You can donate to Alistair’s cause by clicking on this link and following the instructions.

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