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Cheltenham school teacher to don womble outfit for London Marathon

By EchoJoe  |  Posted: April 10, 2014


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You'd normally expect to spot him wombling free around Wimbledon Common.

But Uncle Bulgaria will be seen running the London Marathon this weekend, courtesy of a Cheltenham school teacher.

Duncan Byrne, deputy head at Cheltenham College, has decided to take on the 26-mile challenge dressed in a seven foot costume of the loveable pointy-nosed creature.

And although he won’t need a map of the world to get around the course, he certainly hopes not to be left too far behind the times by other runners.

Money raised through his efforts will go to the Jesuit Missions, a charity which supports educational projects for street children in Zimbabwe.

Duncan, 41, said: “I have run six marathons in the past and when I have done them I have always seen people running as wombles.

“By chance I was put in touch with the charity which people run for dressed in womble outfits.

“I wanted to try something different so I thought I’d give it a go.”

Wearing the giant furry suit is sure to push the seasoned runner to the limit.

“It’s going to be a big challenge,” he added.

“I have tried the suit on and you can’t see very far ahead.

“However, they don’t send you the suit to practice in beforehand because I think the worry is that people will decide not to go ahead with it!

“But I’m looking forward to it. I’ve done lots of training and am hoping to get around the course in somewhere near five hours.”

Duncan, who teaches modern languages at the school, is aiming to raise £2,000 in sponsorship through his efforts, and has already amassed more than £1,300 on his online donation site.

“It’s a charity which appeals to me because of my teaching background,” he added.

“It does a lot of good work in Zimbabwe, where people have had to put up with some a lot of hardships in recent years.

“I have always run for different charities and this seemed like a particularly worthwhile cause.”

To sponsor Duncan go to www.virginmoneygiving.com/DuncanByrne

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