A volunteer policeman has triumphed in the London Marathon, carving nearly an hour off the previous best time to run the race in a 17kg donkey costume.
Nic Van Gelder, 35, swapped his uniform for the donkey costume to raise money for the international working animal charity, the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad (SPANA).
Van Gelder, part of the SPANA fundraising team, had hopes of breaking the charity’s current London Marathon donkey-costume record of 7 hours and 47 minutes, but recognised it would be no easy feat.
He said before the race: “I know I won’t be able to do much more than a walking pace in the heavy costume and so it’s going to be a real endurance challenge.”
A challenge it proved to be, but Van Gelder completed the race in 6 hours 48 minutes, knocking a whopping 59 minutes off the previous best time in the costume on the London Marathon course.
Completing the marathon in the heavy costume serves as a graphic reminder of the enormous burdens that working animals have to carry every day of their lives and the distances they have to carry them.
You can still sponsor Nic by visiting www.justgiving.com/nic-spanamarathon.