‘Viking’ Strider Tait helps to smash marathon world record

Gainsborough Strider Steve Tait and his Edinburgh Marathon teammates, dressed as a Viking longboat.
Gainsborough Strider Steve Tait and his Edinburgh Marathon teammates, dressed as a Viking longboat.

Running a marathon is difficult enough, so imagine what it must be like dressed as a Viking longboat!

To find out the answer, Steve Tait, a member of Gainsborough and Morton Striders, is the man to ask because he has just done it, alongside Viking companions, Nigel Burton, Chris Gale and Martin Ward.

The intrepid quartet, dressed as Vikings and encased in a longboat, tackled the Edinburgh Marathon and set out to beat the world record for running a marathon in a four-person costume.

With support from another Strider, Craig Williamson, they managed it, clocking five hours, three minutes and four seconds to beat the previous record of five hours, 25 minutes. And in doing so, they raised an amazing amount of £11,000 for LIVES, the Lincolnshire-based charity that sends out fully-trained volunteers to 999 medical emergencies.

Edinburgh was also the race of choice for a third Strider, Will Lansdall, who completed his marathon debut in a respectable time of 3.54.12.

Also running in a marathon for the first time was Chloe Airey, who was one of three runners with the club to take on the Rock ‘N’ Roll Liverpool Marathon. Veteran Simon Hunt was the first to finish in a time of 3.41.49, followed by Airey in 4.18.57 and Glenn Peniston, who clocked 4.43.18.

Meanwhile Nigel Bowler decided that 26 miles would be a little too short and, instead, chose to take part in the North York Moors 100-mile event. He completed the course in 32 hours, 48 minutes.

Something different was tackled too by Kev Lovett when he competed in his first quadrathlon, The Brigg Bomber, and finished in a time of three hours, 39 minutes.

Hot and humid weather played its part in disrupting the returns for nine Striders at the Asda Foundation Nottingham 10K. There were no new personal-best (PB) times to report and only Kirsty Smithson came away with a season’s best after recording 59.21 minutes.

Last midweek, a total of 36 Striders made the trip to Lincoln for the first night of the Wellington Summer Series of races. And nearly all of them returned home with personal or season’s best times, including, in the 5K event, Aaron Coy (19.30), Mark Rodgers (20.01), Hannah Holmes (20.04), Craig Ward (20.15), Darryl Kelsey (21.59), Ian Haldenby (25.08), Karen Ramsdale (25.14), Karrie Rodgers (28.57), Rachel Haldenby (30.34) and Helen Clarke (31.02).

In the 3K race, Kameron Rodgers finished fourth in a PB of 11.15, while other times included Max Underwood-Frost (12.22), Dylan Housham (14.52) and Abigail Hackney (16.33).

Ten youngsters competed in the junior 1K race, with Charlie Burgin (3.23) finishing second and Tom Sweeting (3.30) third. Other times included Harrison Greenfield (4.22), Ruby Rodgers (4.32), Rhys Sweeting (4.36), Cayden Kelsey (4.39), Josh Swinton (5.03), Jackson Lawson-Haywood (5.03), Dylan Marsh (5.18) and Elsa Rodgers (5.25).

New PBs were also posted by five Striders, James Croft (a blistering 19.02 at Gainsborough), Cayden Kelsey, Tom Sweeting, Aaron Hill (19.53) and Karen Ramsdale, at Saturday’s parkruns.