Man to walk London Marathon backwards in support of Ukrainians

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A father who previously crawled the London Marathon dressed as a gorilla is to walk the famous event backwards this year as a means of “looking over my shoulder for Ukraine.”

Tom Harrison, who lives in Amersham, Buckinghamshire in the UK, and works in project management, said there were several reasons behind his idea to walk the London Marathon backwards.

The London Marathon is to take place on April 23.

“At school we had a motto which was in Latin and it translated to: Look forward and look back,” he said.

“It meant look at what you’ve achieved, look at what you’ve done and where you’ve come from -– don’t forget that -– but also look forward to the future and what’s still to come and what you can still achieve.

“I’m going to keep that in mind for the walk because I’m going forward but also looking backwards.”

The 46-year-old is no stranger to taking on unique feats, having walked 263 miles in 15 days from Land’s End in Cornwall to Parliament Square in London in September 2022.

He also crawled the 26.2 mile marathon route in a gorilla outfit in 2017 as his alter-ego “Mr Gorilla.”

Harrison added that he thought his “quirky” and “eye-catching” idea would help to publicise the cause.

The funds generated from the event are being donated to Red Cross to support Ukrainians embroiled in the ongoing war with Russia.

“There was a mass missile strike in Ukraine just recently, which was launched by the Russians, and knocked out energy supplies across lots of cities and killed numerous people”, he said.

“This is something we don’t have to face here –- yes, we have higher energy bills –- but at least we can put the heating on for a bit when we need it.

“But in Ukraine a lot of people don’t have this option a lot of the time.

“And most Ukrainians will know someone who has been killed during the war and it’s really horrible what they are going through. So, they still need to be supported and not forgotten about.

“I am kind of looking over my shoulder for Ukraine.” (dpa/NAN)(tt:party