IF you were to start running today, the most important thing to buy would be a good pair of shoes…
One Islander preparing for tomorrow’s TCS London Marathon has taken things a step further by wearing a shoe costume as well.
Runner Karl Fitzpatrick has turned himself into an Island celebrity by training while dressed as a giant shoe.
During Mr Fitzpatrick’s Waterfront training sessions, people have been waving to him and donating to his fundraising campaign for Jersey Hospice Care.
He has been fundraising for the organisation since a good friend’s dad, Alan Walters, passed away at the hospice in 2021.
Three-and-a-half weeks ago, Mr Fitzpatrick spotted the shoe costume being used by a mascot at the Hospice 2 Hospice half-marathon. He asked if he could wear the four-foot ensemble for the London Marathon and has been training in it ever since.
Yesterday morning he went for his final training run in St Helier.
‘I think I’ll have an OK first half, but [the costume] is not designed for running,’ Mr Fitzpatrick said.
While wearing the costume, he cannot see his watch or feet, or hear much behind him. He also has to take off the whole outfit if he wants to eat any energy gel.
Although the costume weighs 5kg, it will double in weight if it rains. If, however, the sun is shining, it will become very hot.
The current world record for ‘fastest marathon dressed as a three-dimensional shoe (male)’ stands at 3hr, 54min and 17sec. Though he ran the London Marathon in October in 3hr 41min, Mr Fitzpatrick said he was aiming to finish in around six hours.
‘I’ve decided I just want to enjoy it and put smiles on people’s faces. There are 250,000 spectators; there are 50,000 runners – I just want to put a smile on a child’s face.’
Because his previous London Marathon time was so good, he has been placed in the ‘elite’ starting group, just one section behind Sir Mo Farah – though Mr Fitzpatrick said he planned on starting slowly and letting others catch up.
Earlier this year, two Jersey runners wearing ice-cream costumes became the fastest people to run a marathon dressed as a sweet food.
Mr Fitzpatrick is fundraising for Jersey Hospice Care at: justgiving.com/fundraising/karl-fitzpatrick9.