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Team Penguin are set to waddle their way to glory
5:34pm Friday 8th March 2013 in Local news
Among the hundreds of runners taking part in Keighley’s Big 10K on Sunday will be some who would look more suited for the South Pole than the streets of West Yorkshire.
A group of seven friends who have dubbed themselves “Team Penguin” will dress up as the flightless birds and waddle along the route to help raise money for the Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope.
And even though the costumes will make the race particularly difficult for the group, they are treating it as a warm-up for an even more daunting event.
In September the full team – 26 people dressed as penguins – will cycle the 100 miles from Leeds to Newcastle before taking part in the Great North Run half marathon, all in the hope of raising more than £50,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research.
Members of the team include runners and cyclists from Bingley, Wilsden, Ilkley and Shipley.
Organiser John Bretherick, 45, of Ilkley, said the idea started out as a New Year’s Eve fancy-dress theme based on a John Smith’s advert from the 1990s, featuring comedian Jack Dee dancing with a group of penguins. They soon realised dressing up was the perfect, high- profile way to raise sponsorship for good causes.
He said: “The costume goes right down to your ankles so you can’t really run – you have to waddle. They are specially made. We have about 11 but we need to make a lot more for this year. The Leeds/ Newcastle event will be the most ambitious thing we’ve done.”
Other runners suiting up for Sunday’s race include Oliver Anderson, 45, of Ilkley, Jez Burnham, 39, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, and Mark Summerson, 39, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, who first came up with the penguin idea.
The first charity run of Team Penguin was when member Richard Logan ran the Great North Run in 2005. The Keighley Big 10k will take in the town’s four parks and is expected to attract more than 1,000 runners money for the local hospice. The race starts at 9am.
Team Penguin are looking for local businesses to sponsor them for the Great North Run. For more information visit penguathon.com.