Inverness Half Marathon is abuzz with excitement at the possibility of a new world record being set at the event on 8 March. The man aiming to set that record is Kenny Steele who is hoping to become the fastest person to run a half marathon in a mascot suit.
47-year-old Kenny is chief executive officer of Highland Hospice – the official charity partner of Inverness Half Marathon – and will complete the 13.1 miles dressed as the charity's cuddly mascot, Bobby the Bee.
The current official world record is held by Jefferson the Dog, who completed the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon in a time of 1.46.27 in 2011. Kenny hopes that he will be able to beat that time – even though his costume is around 8ft tall – and raise lots of money for the hospice in the process.
Kenny, who started running with local club Inverness Harriers two years ago, completed last year’s race in 1.22.58 – his current personal best.
He adds, “It’s going to be a new challenge for me personally and I really hope that Bobby the Bee and I can beat the world record. It’s very ambitious, but I think it reflects the challenge for the Highland Hospice and the local community this year to raise the remaining £1.9m needed to rebuild our inpatient unit in Inverness.”
The half marathon route starts on the riverside at Bught Park and follows the River Ness before following roads around the south of the city centre. It returns to the river and a spectacular finish on the track at Queen’s Park Stadium.
In addition to the half marathon, there is a 5K fun run which is also open to children accompanied by adults. It follows a route alongside the River Ness, and also finishes at the stadium.
Race director Malcolm Sutherland says, “As an event organiser, you always dream that a world record will be set at one of your races. However, I never expected that the record might come in the form of an 8ft tall bumblebee.”
Entries for the Inverness Half Marathon & 5K Fun Run close on February 17 with limited 5K entries available on the day. Further information about both events is available at the event website and updates also appear on Facebook and on Twitter.