It’s not every day that someone breaks the Guinness World Record for the fastest half marathon run by someone dressed as a musical instrument.
Later this year, in the Birmingham International Marathon, the same runner, Alistair Rutherford, became the fastest full marathon runner dressed as a musical instrument, his time of 3 hours, 20 minutes and 33 seconds beating the previous record, set by a human cowbell, by a breath-taking 54 minutes.
Alistair’s outfit was made from lightweight Plastazote foam and came complete with a striking headpiece that mimics the shape of the viola’s neck and pegbox.
Alistair, a performance student at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, was raising funds for ARCO, a joint UK-South African project which delivers weekly Skype lessons to young musicians in South Africa.
As well as providing transformative music education activities, Birmingham Conservatoire staff and students – including Alistair – have been acting as role models for vulnerable youngsters living in Soweto, a Johannesburg township deeply affected by poverty and crime.