Lloyd Scott

Blimey – is it Marathon Time already?

I actually don’t mind being hemmed in for a few hours once a year. For some reason it doesn’t annoy me like that bloomin’ Run To The Beat thing last year which cut large swathes of us off completely for hours with virtually no warning. (I confess that much of my anger may have been down to the fact that I had some visitors who’d been hanging around just that leeeetle bit too long and I couldn’t get rid of them, but it still bugged the hell out of me, whereas the marathon just doesn’t, somehow…)

So, if the weather’s nice it’s always fun to make a bit of a party out of it, watching it on TV until it gets to, say the Woolwich Ferry, then making a nice cup of tea and wandering up to cheer the people in the stupidest costumes.

And of course, the King of Mad Outfits is the one and only Lloyd Scott.

You know the guy – he’s the one who wore the deep sea diving costume a few years ago. He was refused a finishers’ medal, because he took too long, but he got the last laugh – last I saw his ‘costume’ was in the NMM, with its own little plaque. Since then he’s devoted his life to raising cash for charity and he prides himself in creating a new daft get-up every year.

So – if you recall, he’s been St George (complete with Dragon, natch, though maybe, after yesterday’s post, if he repeats that one, he should carry a spare leg with him…) a space man, the Iron Giant – all sorts. My own personal favourite was Indiana Jones And HisPet Rock.

Thing is, it’s easy to miss him, as his costumes usually mean he’s going at a snail’s pace. So I actually got myself together this year and emailed him nice and early to get some kind of timing for when he’ll be trudging through Greenwich this year.

He’s had a few problems with his costume this year – it was extremely elaborate – but far too slow – even for him, so he’s had to completely rebuild with only a short time to go.

But he finally got round to mailing me yesterday – he and the pals he’s running with this year have done some trials – and he’s now going to be faster than usual this year.

He says “I reckon we will move at 3mph, so if you were at 6 miles, giving us 15 minutes to cross the line, we should be in the area at about noon.”

So there you have it, folks. Let’s get out and give the guy a cheer – and some money. He’s collecting for The Children’s Trust – you can donate here.

I was discussing with an American friend yesterday the concept that Britain really does seem to be the only country that doesn’t quite take the whole marathon business particularly seriously. Everywhere else you seem to have to be a ‘proper’ runner and complete time trials to get your place. Here, although there are serious runners (and another pal of mine is one of them – scarily serious…) anyone can give it a go if they can wangle themselves a place.

Not that you’ll ever catch me doing it. Even the guys in the silly outfits have made some sort of effort at fitness. So anyone you see running in a cloak, boots and tricorn ensemble is a dastardly Phantom impostor…

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