Darth Vader to run marathon

MAY the force be with me.That is what this enthusiastic runner and massive Star Wars fan will be thinking when he takes to the streets to raise money for two good causes.

MAY the force be with me.

That is what this enthusiastic runner and massive Star Wars fan will be thinking when he takes to the streets to raise money for two good causes.

Because not only is Dean Locke running the London Marathon, he's running it dressed at Darth Vader.

The 33-year-old dad-of-two said: “I know it is a slightly crazy thing to do and I'm not really sure why I decided to do it.

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“I think it will be harder dressed as Darth Vader but I'm still looking forward to it and hopefully I'll be the only person running in that get-up.

“I'll have to practice beforehand too so if you see me running round Ipswich give me a wave.”

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And it isn't the first time Mr Locke, of Penzance Road in Ipswich, has run the 26.2 mile course in fancy dress.

In 2001 he donned a sumo wrestler costume for the marathon in the capital after running it in normal clothes in 1999.

He added: “It was more fun doing it dressed up because there was a great atmosphere.

“You got more encouragement from the crowd and they even offered me lager as I was running around.”

But he stressed there was also a more serious side to the challenge on April 22 because he is hoping to raise £600 for two charities which are close to his heart.

Mr Locke said: “I am running for Cancer Research UK because I have lost a few friends through cancer.

“Most recently my best mate's mother-in-law passed away through cancer.

“And I am running for the Parkinson's Disease Society because my late Granddad suffered with it and I never knew him as a well man.”

Weblink: www.parkinsons.org.uk


Dean Locke is not the first person to take to the streets of London in a rather bizarre outfit.

Last year Lloyd Scott, 44, of east London, raised £1.8million after he completed the course dressed in a suit of armour and pulling a two metre dragon.

It took Mr Scott, who completed the event in 2002 wearing a deep sea diving suit, eight days and 13 minutes before he finished.

The outfit got an airing again at the BBC's Sport Relief Mile in Ipswich last summer.

Also last year Ipswich man Ronnie Gray ran the London Marathon while playing the bagpipes and wearing full Highland regalia.

Instead of shorts and a T-shirt Mr Gray, 42, donned a kilt to collect money for the RSPCA in Martlesham.

Meanwhile loved-up couple Katie Austin and Gordon Fryer paused on Tower Bridge to get married before continuing on towards the Docklands.

And some people even decided to get together when they took part by making their way through the streets in a giant caterpillar suit.

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