A runner from Southport is attempting to break a Guinness World Record at next month’s BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon – and is appealing for a helping hand on the day.
Forty-five-year-old Paul Warrington from Birkdale will be running the 13.1-mile race on Sunday 12 September dressed in full hockey goalkeeper kit. He must beat a time of two hours 45 minutes to break the current record.
Entries are still open for the 28th annual BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon, which also includes a 10-mile race. The event boasts a grandstand start and finish area at Pier Head Liverpool. The races start at 9am.
Paul, who is a member of Southport & Waterloo Athletics Club, must be accompanied throughout the race to ensure he meets the challenge criteria.
On the day Paul must wear a helmet, chest protector, elbow protectors, hard pads on both legs, padded shorts, leg guards, hand pads and shoe pads. The kit weighs 12lbs, and that’s before he adds standard running kit or his water hydration pack.
The rules state that Paul must be accompanied throughout the race by an independent witness, ideally a fellow runner who is taking part in the race.
Paul’s race day companion will need to photograph him passing every mile marker and confirm he completed the race in full kit. He can take a breather and remove items of kit – but must not move forward until the kit is complete.
The challenge started as a joke with his hockey playing daughter. But after scouring the record books during lockdown, Paul found his challenge. He has been training in full kit including at his local parkrun at Hesketh Park.
Paul Warrington commented:
“This all started as banter with my daughter but it’s very real now. I’ve been training in full kit and the race is fast approaching – it’s going to be tough. I’ve ran the London Marathon four times, but this is most definitely going to be my biggest challenge yet.
“Now races are restarting I’ve sadly lost the volunteers I had lined-up, so I would be grateful to anyone running a similar pace who is able to join me on the day and verify my attempt. People fundraise for so many important causes so I just wanted to do something a bit different as our family’s way of saying thank you for the care my father-in-law is receiving.
“Running in hockey goalkeeper kit, attempting a record, and fundraising – that will keep me going when it gets tough. The whole experience is going to be very memorable.”
The event marks the return of BTR races for the remainder of 2021, which also includes the BTR Mersey Tunnel 10K on 26 September and the Appreciate Group Liverpool Santa Dash on 5 December. BTR Liverpool is the leading independent organisation for creating, managing and delivering headline race events across Liverpool City Region.
BTR Race Director Alan Rothwell commented:
“Races are back and it’s such a great feeling after a challenging 16 months. Many people took to running to stay active during the pandemic, and being active helped them through the many challenges of lockdown.
“Paul is a great example of taking a difficult situation and turning it into something positive. The running community is very supportive so please come forward if you can help – good luck Paul and smash that record, we’re all right behind you.”
Paul is using the record attempt as his motivation to fundraise for Cancer Research UK. His father-in-law was diagnosed with lymphoma in Summer 2020, and after six months of chemotherapy is now in recovery. Paul has already raised £600, his donation page is https://bit.ly/3zpMWJE
If you are taking part in the BTR Liverpool Skyline Half Marathon and can help Paul on race day, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
All BTR races will be organised and delivered in accordance with any Covid guidelines required at the time of events.
Find out more about BTR races by visiting www.btrliverpool.com
Images Paul Francis Cooper/ Erica Dillon