Three men from Brixton will run the London Marathon on Sunday 3 October while tied together at the ankles.
Brothers Michael and Andrew Pelton, 28 and 30, and their close friend Niall Cooper, 28, are aiming to break the world record for a four-legged marathon, currently set at four hours, 44 minutes and 18 seconds.
The trio are running to raise money for the learning disability charity Mencap, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
Niall said: “I work in education and teach students of all ages, some of whom have a learning disability.
“As housemates, we spend a lot of time discussing political issues like cuts to very necessary and underfunded services, so from our point of view the work that Mencap is doing is incredibly vital.”
Michael added: “I think the main reason we’re running is because a lot of the funding has been cut in the last five years or the last 10 years, but then also the pandemic has especially hit a lot of these charities very hard.”
Mencap provides support to people in the UK living with a disability, as well as families and carers in need.
Last December the charity successfully campaigned for people with learning disabilities to be prioritised for the Covid vaccine.
Michael, Andrew and Niall will now join 450 runners representing Mencap in the event expecting to draw 100,000 participants.
The 2021 London Marathon will become the largest marathon of all time if 100,000 take part in October.
The ‘3 Men 1 Marathon’ team hope to break another record this year, targeting the time for a four-legged marathon set by Fraser Barrett, Charles Reynolds and Oliver Smith at the 2016 London Marathon.
Michael said: “We can all run about a four-hour marathon individually, so we have 44 minutes to work with for the record. We’ll see how it goes!
“In training, we’ve done some runs separately, then once tied together. We realise that we fell over quite a lot when tied together. So we stuck to doing separate runs for now!
“[The reception] has been good. There’s a mix between people calling us idiots and supporting us. Hopefully, we’ll get a lot of people out on the day.”
Edel Harris, chief executive of Mencap, said: “We are delighted that Michael, Andrew and Niall, along with over 450 other runners, will be taking on the 2021 Virgin Money London Marathon to raise vital funds for Mencap’s life-changing programmes.
“All of our runners will be helping to raise awareness about learning disability and in turn raise vital funds for our programmes, which are needed now more than ever.”
To donate to ‘3 Men 1 Marathon’, click here.