• Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Runner to complete London Marathon backwards in support of Ukrainians


Mar 14, 2023

A dad who previously crawled the London Marathon while dressed as a gorilla is to walk the entire race backwards in aid of Ukrainians affected by the ongoing war with Russia.

Tom Harrison said he set himself the goal as a means of “looking over my shoulder for Ukraine”.

The 46-year-old is no stranger to taking on unique and unusual feats, having walked 263 miles in 15 days from Lands End in Cornwall to Parliament Square in London in September 2022.

This was five years after he crawled the marathon dressed as his alter-ego, “Mr Gorilla”.

The project manager hopes the “quirky” and “eye-catching” idea will help to publicise his cause – with funds being donated to the Red Cross.

Tom Harrison crawls the London marathon in a gorilla costume, 2017 Image: Tom Harrison crawled the London marathon in a gorilla costume in 2017

“Most Ukrainians will know someone who has been killed during the war and it’s really horrible what they are going through, so they still need to be supported and not forgotten about,” he said.

His £2,000 target – which is required by those fundraising for the Red Cross to secure their place in the marathon – has already been surpassed. Mr Harrison raised most of the cash through cake sales and hopes donations keep on coming in.

Runners reach the Isle of Dogs during the London Marathon

He will start the marathon at the back to avoid any potential crashes with fellow runners.

“I’m sure I’ll get some comments like ‘mate, you’re going the wrong way’,” he added.

“But it will be funny and at least they are interested, but I’ll probably have to put something on my back which explains what I am doing.”


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