London Marathon 2012: cruel and unusual running kit

Look out for wacky costumes among the fun runners at the London Marathon

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Settle in for an epic viewing session on Sunday morning with the London Marathon. 

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They’re off from 9am onwards but you don’t have to be up in time for that because the appeal lies not in watching the front runners or Paralympians. No, we advocate that you provide armchair support for the legions of charity runners. Your reward? To enjoy their trials and triumphs despite their daft and eccentric costumes. The fun runners are unlikely to get TV coverage until at least 10am.

A snail’s pace was achieved in 2011 by Lloyd Scott kitted out as Brian from The Magic Roundabout (above). He did just over a mile a day, lying face down on a sledge, using knees and toes to scrape along in his 9 foot long costume. He finally completed the race in 26 days. 

Encore: Who could forget Lloyd Scott’s previous slow motion marathon in a 130lb deep sea diver’s suit? He completed the 26.2miles in five days and 8 hours in 2002.

Superhero: David Stone broke the record for running the fastest marathon dressed as a superhero. In his Superman outfit, he ran the 2011 event in 2 hours 42 minutes 46 seconds, beating the time set by Batman’s sidekick, Robin, in 2009 by 49 seconds.

Fastest animal or bird last year was Martin Indge as an ostrich who came in at just over three hours, just pipping a panda at the post. Honestly. 

Thirty-five records were set last year, ranging from the fastest man dressed as a bottle (3:53:26) to the quickest marching band (7 hours 55 minutes, although it’s not recorded whether they played a medley or just piped up with the same tune over and over again). 

Here’s a timetable for anyone watching this year’s race for the athletes as well as the good causes: 

9am – elite women start

9:20am – wheelchair races 

9:45am – elite men and mass start

11ish – make sure you’re settled in front of the TV by now

11:13am – wheelchair course record time 

11:15am  – Paula Radcliffe’s world record time 

11:48am – men’s world record time

2pm – BBC TV coverage ends (there’s a highlights show at 5pm on BBC2) 

6pm – a rule change makes this the new cut-off point. No competitor can finish after this time   

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Impressive fact: Six per cent of this year’s runners are teachers – 2,974 of the total field of 49,795.