Liam Peltell, 25, a trainee accountant from Lincoln, is running the Race to the King, dressed as a Viking
Wearing 18kg of chainmail, Liam will be raising money for Race charity, Save the Children and the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Service.
“I always knew that if I wanted to raise money for charity I would need to do something a bit different otherwise my friends and family would stop donating. I’ve always admired the runners you see in costume at the London Marathon and Tony “The Fridge” Morrison [who has raised over £100,000 for charity running with a fridge on his back] is one of my heroes. The idea for Liam the Viking came from there.
Training for the event
I run three or four times a week and throw the occasional hill sprint session in. I’ve realised this year that I need to build strength as my shoulders and back just crumbled by the end of my last half marathon. Boxing is one of my other passions so I’m starting to incorporate boxing classes and circuits into my training to strengthen my back to take the weight of the costume.
Chainmail charity challenge
Painful is the simplest way to describe running in chainmail. It can get quite hot as well, but British weather has always been kind to me and I’ve never run a race in the baking sun. The most surprising thing to me is the noise. A chainmail hood rattling against a metal helmet is louder than you’d think.
Becoming “The Viking”
But despite all that it’s still great. There is just something about putting that helmet on and becoming “The Viking” version of myself that doesn’t worry about the everyday problems and can just focus on the running. In an odd way it’s very therapeutic. I have to concentrate on keeping my back straight and my head up to spread the weight properly and I even have to alter my running style to reduce the impact on my joints.
There is something very satisfying about doing something that other people don’t think you should be able to do. I love the challenge of pushing myself beyond what even I think I’m capable of. I’d always thought of running as such a personal battle against yourself, but everyone wants everyone else to succeed, which is a rare thing in the world sometimes.
If you would like to support Liam the Viking in his charity challenge, you can donate via http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/liamtheviking