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Chigwell School’s polar bear breaks Guinness World Record of fastest marathon runner

PUBLISHED: 13:00 27 April 2016 | UPDATED: 14:17 27 April 2016

Gill Punt holding her polar bear costume after the London marathon on Sunday

Gill Punt holding her polar bear costume after the London marathon on Sunday

©2016 Rebekah Taylor

A woman has broken the Guinness World Record of the fastest marathon in a full-body animal costume, raising thousands of pounds for a cancer charity.

Gill Punt in her polar bear outfit with her Guinness World Record certificateGill Punt in her polar bear outfit with her Guinness World Record certificate

Gill Punt, 45, development manager at Chigwell School and the wife of headmaster Michael Punt, who both live at the school on High Road, Chigwell, ran the 26.2 miles of the London Marathon on Sunday in a polar bear costume.

Dressed as one of the mascots of Cancer Research UK, she ran the marathon in 4hr 21mn – breaking the previous record of 4hr 30mn and raising close to £7,000 for the charity.

Delighted about her achievement, Mrs Punt said the day had been about having fun.

Crossing the finish line after having been knocked over four times during the race, the mother of three told the Recorder: “I don’t know what was worse, the limited visibility or the heat.

“But it was an amazing experience with a fantastic crowd - an unforgettable day,” she said.

While she does not exclude the possibility of running more marathons in the future “never again as a polar bear,” she added.

Running her third marathon, Mrs Punt gave a massive boost to the school’s fund raising efforts for Cancer Research UK, which has now reached an astounding £260,000.

Mrs Punt explained she started raising money for the charity after the death of her father 17 years ago but her efforts were revived in 2013, when a student died of brain cancer five days before her 16th birthday.

Earlier this year, the school’s former head master also died of cancer.

“In the Chigwell community a number of pupils, close friends and colleagues have experienced cancer and I wanted to do my bit to ensure that one day, others will not have to suffer as they have.

“This is why this is so close to our hearts. This has become quite a mission,” she said.


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