Rhino runners hail ‘phenomenal’ London Marathon crowd

18:38 21 April 2013

The sight of a rhino running down the road would ordinarily shock many of us, but at the London Marathon it has become a well known occurrence.

Runners from Save The Rhino are perhaps the most recognisable of all the costumed participants, sporting huge head to toe rhinoceros suits.

The organisation had 51 runners taking part this year, 15 of whom were in full rhino costumes, as they continue to lead the charge for promoting conservation of the species.

The Save The Rhino team were well set up to receive their runners at the finish line, with sandwiches, refreshments and even a team of masseurs on hand.

The first rhino back was 43-year-old Justin Wateridge, who runs a travel company in the Cotswolds. His watch had stopped but he thought he might have achieved his target of under five hours in the eight kilo suit by a minute or two.

It was his third marathon with Save The Rhinos, he described the suit as “cumbersome and very hot” and said: “But all the runners around you are lifted by it.”

He added: “The crowd was phenomenal this year.”

The second rhino across the line was John Black, 33, from Johannesburg, South Africa. It was his first time running the London Marathon and he had travelled here especially to take part. Astonishingly, he had never even run in the suit before.

He said: “Living in South Africa I have seen the rhino population there dropping, so it is close to home for me, I want to do everything I can to help prevent this.

“I loved the race, the support for the rhino suits was incredible.”

Justin and John have already raised nearly £8,000 between them.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more