• Jenny McNamara

Saving the Rhino! (from slipping on ice at his first parkrun...)

The amazing Andy is running the London Marathon in April in the iconic rhino costume for Save The Rhino International. (You can read about more about him here).

Andy enlisted my help two months ago to get him through the 26.2 gruelling miles in this unforgiving, 10kg non-air-conditioned suit! We are working on back, core and shoulder strength to meet the demands this unique costume will add on his upper body while running the distance in addition to usual strength and conditioning needed for a marathon challenge.

Today, it was time for a trial run...Burnham parkrun! I had the pleasure of acting as "ranger"...ensuring Andy was aware of up-coming hazards (steps, uneven ground, bollards and ice), as well as general motivation on this cold, grey day!

After a bit of hamstring therapy with the massage gun, Andy was suited and booted and ready to take on his first challenge...the toilets!

Soon we were on the start line...most were friendly and wanted selfies with this crazy creature, though there were a few dogs who took a dislike to the exotic beast before them!

We successfully navigated our way through the congested start and icy paths of Apex Park, before a welcome jaunt along the esplanade, where Andy was, impressively, able to pick up the pace.

Andy finished the run in 34 minutes and 40 seconds, picking off many runners along the way and even managing a sprint finish! A great successful debut which gives us a better idea of the challenges he will face on race-day, and, of course, how we can work in our strength and conditioning sessions to prepare for this fully.

On that note, I will say that I have tried on the costume, and I wouldn't fancy running in it one bit!

Please sponsor him for this epic challenge if you can...

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