Moments after crossing the Virgin Money London Marathon finishing line, Lee Collier was already looking ahead to his next challenge for Action Medical Research.
The 42-year-old from Blandford Forum had initially wanted to break the record for the fastest male mascot at the weekend.
However, because of the forecasted temperatures days before the race, Lee sensibly decided not to pursue the record while wearing the official Paddington Bear™ running costume:
“I am disappointed” he confessed after the race. “I knew it was going to be a struggle and the warm weather didn’t help, but I really wanted to at least start the marathon in the suit.
“The team at Action were great and expressed their concerns a number of times for my wellbeing. We had plans in place for if I needed to discard the running costume mid-marathon and I assured them that I wouldn’t get carried away and would run at a leisurely pace!”
Lee was running in the Paddington Bear™ suit in recognition of the fact that Paddington is Action’ s official mascot.
He crossed the finishing line in around 6 hours 40 minutes.
Head of Events for Action, Emma Morgan said: “We take the health and wellbeing of all of our runners extremely seriously.
“We spoke at length with Lee on Friday lunchtime (20 April) to discuss his plans to wear the Paddington Bear™ running suit and his attempt to break a World Record for fastest male mascot.
“We expressed our concerns for his wellbeing, assuring him he was under no obligation to run in the suit and offered him an opportunity to run in next year’s marathon instead, but he was really keen to at least try running in the costume.
“We’re very thankful for his support and would like to congratulate him for his dedication to completing a personal goal.”
Although he did not beat the record for a full marathon, Lee remains hopeful of getting in the record books for a slightly shorter distance later this year.
“The important thing for me is to try and help raise as much money and awareness of Action as I possibly can.
“I set myself the challenge of breaking two World Records in 2018 and my second opportunity will come in the Salisbury Half marathon on 7 October.”
To break the record for a half marathon he’ll need to beat a time of 1:37:03.
Lee has a very personal reason for wanting to help Action. In 2005 he and his ex-wife sadly lost their little girl.
“It was without doubt the lowest point in my life, a time when I really didn't know what to do or who to turn to.
“After a few tough years I decided that I wanted to try and help others not have to go through the same experience as we did. I fancied challenging myself physically and thought ‘why not enter The London Marathon?’ So I looked into charities I could support and came across Action.”
This year both Lee and his girlfriend Alie Madders hope to raise £2,000 each for Action (https://www.action.org.uk/sponsor/LeeCollierVLM2018).
Action Medical Research is a UK-wide children’s charity which funds desperately needed research to tackle the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children. It has been funding medical breakthroughs since it began in 1952 including helping to introduce the first polio vaccines in the UK, developing the use of ultrasound in pregnancy and testing the rubella vaccine.
The charity is currently funding research into conditions including asthma, prematurity, epilepsy, meningitis, cerebral palsy, brain cancer and some rare and distressing conditions.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
To download a photo of Lee:
To download a photo of Lee running as Paddington:
Read more about Lee’s preparations in this short blog:
Lee’s fundraising page:
Lee will be running with his girlfriend Alie and they both hope to raise £2000 each for us.
For 60 years, British-born writer Michael Bond has delighted children and families all over the world with his stories about Paddington, the bear from Darkest Peru, famous for his love of marmalade. Paddington is popular with children and adults alike who feel affectionate and warm towards him; the charm and humour of the Paddington stories is the key to their enduring popularity.
Paddington’s adventures have been adapted several times for television and at the end of 2014 Paddington made his debut onto the big screen. The movie, produced by StudioCanal, part of the international content and media group Vivendi, is the best-selling non-Hollywood family movie ever released. A second Paddington movie, Paddington 2, launched globally at the end of 2017 to great critical acclaim.
In 2016, Vivendi took full ownership of the Paddington brand worldwide, with the exception of the classic publishing rights.
In 2015, in recognition of Paddington’s extraordinary popularity and success, Michael Bond was made a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to children’s literature. Michael Bond died in June 2017, leaving behind a legacy of one of the best loved children’s characters in the world. This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the first book, A Bear Called Paddington, which was published by William Collins on 13th October 1958.
Follow Paddington on Twitter at @paddingtonbear
Like Paddington’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PaddingtonBear/
©P&Co. Ltd./SC 2018
Licensed on behalf of STUDIOCANAL S.A.S by Copyrights Group
For more information on Action Medical Research, contact Peter Denton, Fundraising Communications Officer, on:
Action Medical Research is a leading UK-wide charity saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. For more than 65 years we’ve helped pioneer ways to prevent disease and develop treatments benefiting millions of people. Our research has helped to beat polio in the UK, develop ultrasound in pregnancy, fight meningitis and prevent stillbirths. But we urgently need to develop more new treatments and cures for sick babies and children and we can’t do it without you.
Join our fight for little lives today.
Charity reg. nos 208701 and SC039284.