Scarborough man to run marathon dressed as a poppy

Owen Willis in his poppy costume
Owen Willis in his poppy costume

It’s an achievement to complete any marathon but one Scarborough runner is looking to finish wearing a 5ft tall poppy flower.

At the London Marathon there are an array of wacky and wonderful costumes as runners push themselves to complete the 26.2-mile course.

Owen Willis has been building up to this for four years

Owen Willis has been building up to this for four years

But Owen Willis is taking on an extra challenge and is hoping to become a Guinness World Records holder by running the fastest marathon dressed as a three-dimensional plant and has a target of five hours.

Raising funds for the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association and the Royal British Legion, the 49-year-old runner will be dressed in a 5ft diametre poppy.

Having been given one of Scarborough Athletic Club’s places, Owen attempt has been four years in the making.

The team leader at White Rose Home Improvement Agency said: “I completed my last marathon at York in October 2014, at a time when the commemoration of the beginning of World War One was prevalent in people’s minds in the lead up to Remembrance Day.

“Having pushed very hard to achieve my target time, I promised myself that the next marathon would not only be at a more leisurely pace, but that in 2018 I would run for charity to mark 100 years since the end of the Great War.”

Owen Willis says the two charities are vital to many families in the area.Being dressed as a poppy will also raise awareness for the British Legion.

He said: “Both charities provide valuable support to many of the Home Improvement Agency’s clients across Scarborough and Ryedale, often providing additional funding to enable ex-service personnel and their families to carry out essential and often life changing adaptations to their homes.”

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