Firefighter's marathon effort

8:00am Saturday 12th April 2014

By Ed Stilliard

FOR most people, simply finishing the 26 miles and 385 yards of the London Marathon course would be enough of an achievement.

But James Dajlid is going even further – metaphorically speaking.

Tomorrow he will bid to break a Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon run in a complete fireman’s outfit.

James, 34, of Brunswick Road, Fair Oak, will have to clock under four hours, 45 minutes and 16 seconds to claim his place in the record books.

He will have to do it wearing fireproof overalls, boots, a helmet and a breathing apparatus kit on his back – which weighs a combined two stone. Sweat and rain would add another stone to his burden.

But James, who was part of Southampton Airport’s firefighting crew for eight years, is staying positive.

He said: “I ran the London Marathon four years ago but without the boots, just in trainers, and I wasn’t doing it to break the record, I was just doing it for fun.

“When I found out that there was a record, I just wanted to break it.”

“I think I can beat the record. I have to think that and remain positive, don’t I? I have done my training up to 21 miles. I have to believe that I can beat the record.

“I believe I can get under the five-hour barrier, I hope I can be a few minutes on the right side of the time.”

The current record is held by Irishman Niall O Crualaoich in the Cork City Marathon in June 2010.

James, who now works as a firefighter at Heathrow Airport, also hopes to raise more than £1,000 for Oxfam.

Neighbours in Fair Oak have grown used to the sight of seeing the dad-of-two running through the streets at night with the steel tank on his back as he trains for the gruelling race.

“There’s been quite a few people who have seen me and beeped me in their cars,” he said.

Sponsor James at: justgiving.com/jamesdajlid34, or donate by texting DAJY69 to 70070, followed by the amount.

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