When John Alway completes the Haywards Heath leg of the Mid Sussex Marathon (UK) this morning, a huge weight will be lifted from his shoulders. No, not the weight of running in a marathon: a giant, stinky teddy bear.
The West Sussex Gazette interviewed Alway in anticipation of his race, and you'll be surprised to learn that he's doing this to (take a guess, you'll never guess) raise money for charity (lucky guess!). And while the last thing we need is someone adding to the growing list of ridiculous marathon stunts, his story is an interesting look into the perils of running a race with a giant stuffed animal strapped to your back:
"Throughout [my last] race, I was cheered on the whole way round by "go bear" and "hey you have a bear chasing you."
"With dogs chasing me and kids hanging off its legs and arms, the bear was the least of my worries."
"It's difficult because if it gets hot then the bear overheats me, but if it rains or there's any moisture in the air then it gets heavier and harder to carry."
Alway says today's race is just part of his training for a more serious schedule of mountain runs this summer. For those races, he plans on dressing the bear up in a mountain climbing outfit, presumably so it is not confused with a real live animal. Such as a bear.
And yes, that's Alway in the picture (it's the only picture of him, highly-pixelated for obvious reasons; no one wants to be that guy in the office). That bear looks adequately carboloaded.