Running a half marathon is difficult. Team Gilbert knows, we’ve been there. Now imagine running it in costume. Even tougher. Now imagine running in a costume that doesn’t allow you to move your arms. Madness.
That is the task awaiting Sid Keyte. Sid is running the Bath Half Marathon this Sunday dressed as a giant Gilbert Rugby ball. It’s fair to say that this has caused quite a stir around the Salisbury area.
“I certainly get my fair share of puzzled looks from people and startled animals when I’m out on training runs. It is an equal amount of car horns, open mouthed stares and cheers as I go past people. But on the whole people have been very supportive.” Keyte said.
The trials and tribulations of running with the giant ball around Wiltshire is all in aid of the Bath Rugby Foundation, a cause that is close to Sid’s heart. “The Bath Rugby Foundation works with disabled and disadvantaged children and young people in the local community running Education and Inclusion programmes using Sport to engage young people. Programmes are designed to enthuse and motivate, helping people to reach their potential in all areas of life.”
The giant rugby ball will be emblazoned with the Bath Rugby crest and their famous blue and white colours so synonymous with the club. It will also feature Dyson, who have kindly sponsored Sid by covering the cost of making the costume.
Unlike most of the runners on Sunday, Sid will be restricted by being unable to use his arms. This, as any standard of runner will know, presents quite a challenge. “I climb in the suit and my bum sticks out. I start to run and I sort of waddle like a penguin. My arms are stuck by my side, so my legs and my core are really working overtime. Hopefully it will all be worth it!”
This is not Sid’s first foray into charity running. In 2014, he ran the London Marathon for MIND, earning himself a Guinness World Record in the process. On that occasion it wasn’t a rugby ball, however. It was a phone box. A WOODEN phone box. It’s fair to say that Sid’s previous experience stands him in good stead for Sunday’s challenge.
What are his hopes for Sunday? “Just to have a good time and raise lots of money really! We’ve put a target of £500 on fundraising so it would be great to get close to that. People have been very generous in the past and I’m sure they will be again.”
So if you are in the area on Sunday and you see a giant rugby ball coming towards you, do not be alarmed. You aren’t hallucinating or having a very odd nightmare, it’s just Sid Keyte doing his bit to help raise money for a charity that means a lot to him.
Good luck Sid, from the biggest ball company to the biggest ball.
To donate to Sid, visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SidKeyte
Follow Sid on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sidkeyte
Follow Gilbert Rugby on Social Media