Gainsborough runners hope to be first to run marathon in a Viking longboat costume

Martin Ward, Nigel Burton, Steve Tait and Chris Gale are attempting to become the first team to complete the Edinburgh marathon in a four-person costume, complete with real beards, shields and lots of snarling.
Martin Ward, Nigel Burton, Steve Tait and Chris Gale are attempting to become the first team to complete the Edinburgh marathon in a four-person costume, complete with real beards, shields and lots of snarling.

A determined group of Gainsborough runners are hoping to smash a world record and raise £10,000 for charity by tackling a marathon dressed as a Viking longboat.

Martin Ward, Nigel Burton, Steve Tait and Chris Gale are attempting to become the first team to complete the Edinburgh marathon in a four-person costume, complete with “real beards, shields and lots of snarling”.

The group are also aiming to raise £10,000 for Lincolnshire LIVES, a charity which recruits volunteers to respond to 999 emergencies across the county, and the Epilepsy Society.

Martin came up with the idea as he wanted the team to stay “true to their Gainsborough roots”- the town was briefly the capital of England in the 1001’s after it was seized by Viking king Sweyn Forkbeard.

Martin said: “Running in the costume is something we are going to have to get used to it.

“The first we tried, we only made it about ten feet.

“Only one member of our team, Steve, has ran a marathon before and we have a collective age of 197 .

“There is a lot of training in progress, but we are confident that we can do it.”

In the run up to the big event, on May 28 this year, the team will be practicing their running in the costume around Gainsborough to raise awareness and further funding, with their first trial taking place on Sunday.

They also have a number of events planned such as a Garden Party at Williamson’s Farm on April 1 and an appearance at Marshall’s Yard with LIVES on April 29.

To keep up to date with the team’s feat or to make a donation, visit the team’s Just Giving Page at www.justgiving.co.uk/VikingWRmarathon or www.facebook.com/vikingwrmarathon.

You can donate by texting VIKG55 and your chosen amount to 700700.