Man to walk entire London Marathon backwards in support of Ukraine

  • london
  • March 15, 2023
  • Comments Off on Man to walk entire London Marathon backwards in support of Ukraine

A man who previously crawled the London Marathon dressed as a gorilla will now try it backwards in his next attempt.

Tom Harrison, of Amersham, Buckinghamshire, explained he would be ‘looking over my shoulder for Ukraine’ when he takes on the famous route in April.

The 46-year-old, who works in project management, says there are several reasons behind his idea to try out the unconventional journey.

‘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.’

He is definitely no stranger to a challenge and previously walked 263 miles in 15 days from Land’s End in Cornwall to Parliament Square.

It’s not his first rodeo with the London Marathon either. 

He crawled the entire 26.2 mile route in a gorilla outfit in 2017, dressed as his alter-ego ‘Mr Gorilla’.

So it’s no surprise he wanted to try another ‘quirky’ and ‘eye-catching’ idea to help publicise the cause. 

He will donate all funds to the Red Cross to help Ukrainians amid the current conflict with Russia. 

Tom continued: ‘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.

‘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.

‘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.’

He has already surpassed his £2,000 fundraising target, mostly by doing cake sales, on his JustGiving page

Tom hopes to get even more money raised for the charity ahead of the event itself. 

He joked he’s already looking forward to ‘the finish’ the most, but seems excited for the challenge.

‘Honestly, the opportunity to get going and seeing the crowds – that’s really what makes the marathon,’ he added.

‘So many people turn up to watch and it creates such a good atmosphere, as well as seeing the inspiring landmarks like Buckingham Palace, and that will keep me going.

‘I’m sure I’ll get some comments like “mate, you’re going the wrong way,” but it will be funny and at least they are interested, but I’ll probably have to put something on my back which explains what I am doing.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Get your need-to-know
latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and more