Dreams Come True

A Hippo and a Duck to race at the London Marathon

Martin Neal

On 13th April a Hippo and a Duck will put their running shoes on and race each other 26.2 miles on the Virgin London Marathon. On their minds, will not only be how to keep running for the duration, but the children they are raising money for. Both are raising money for Dreams Come True and we salute their efforts. A marathon alone is enough to bring most people to their knees, but it will be no walk in the park for the runners under the costumes, our very own Martin Neal (AKA Hippo) and Josh Press (AKA Duck).

So why the Hippo and Duck I hear you ask. Well, our Corporate Partners, Silentnight are providing the costumes and it is their recognisable characters that will be pounding the pavements of London on this special day. These aren’t normal running costumes though, they are the full character costumes, which will be one sweaty affair. However, there’s nothing like a challenge to help children like 3 year old Jay, who suffers from many health problems including short bowel syndrome. Jay’s dream is to meet Peppa Pig. Parents across the land will know this dream well, and for most of us, this is a simple dream to fulfil. Get the kids in the car (okay, not always that easy), pack some drinks and snacks and head down to Peppa Pig World. For Jay and his family though, things are not that simple. His health complications mean it’s a huge and costly ordeal. Certainly a bigger ordeal than running 26.2 miles as a Hippo or Duck.

The Duck said: “I’ve been in training for months for this. Running in costume is going to make things harder, but on the way round we will have buckets for donations and every step of the way, I’ll be thinking of the deserving children we’re helping. It’s my first marathon and I can’t wait to see whether the Tortoise or the Hare – I mean Hippo or the Duck wins.”

The Hippo said: “I have completed many marathons before, but never as a Hippo, although I’m built like one, I’m used to carrying around the same kind of weight as one. It’s fantastic to team up with our corporate supporter, Silentnight and promote the work they are doing with Dreams Come True to raise funds for our special terminally and seriously ill children, we cannot thank them enough for all their support. I feel that I will need as much support as possible throughout the 26.2 mile course, especially at the finish to have a different drink than water”

Olympic runner and Dreams Come True ambassador Jo Pavey, said: “A racing Hippo and Duck! This will certainly liven up the Virgin London Marathon. Carrying an extra 10kgs of weight around is no mean feat. I wish Martin and Josh – the Hippo and Duck – huge amounts of luck and hope people get behind their fundraising efforts. By pushing themselves to run a marathon in these suits, they are helping provide the power of dreams to some very special children.”

May the best animal win. And best of luck! If you’d like to donate, please go to the fundraising website at www.virginmoneygiving.com/hippoandduck

James Gunn
Date: 02/04/2014
Author: James Gunn
Source: Dreams Come True


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