RUNNERS planning to don fancy dress for the London Marathon on Sunday are being urged to reconsider amid warnings it could be the hottest race on record.
The alert came as scorching sun across much of the UK yesterday made it the hottest April 19 since records began in 1841.
England, Wales and Scotland all saw their hottest days of the year so far, with a high of 29.1C in London’s St James’s Park, 23.5C in Usk, Monmouthshire, and 21.2C at Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire.
And, as thousands of runners prepared to make their way to the capital for the marathon, event director Hugh Brasher warned: ‘The forecast is currently predicting the hottest London Marathon on record at around 23C.
‘The previous highest temperature on race day was 22.2C in 1996 and 2007.’
He said: ‘Our contingency plans include increasing the supply of water to all drinks station, increasing the number of showers on the route and increasing the supply of ice to first aid stations.
‘Runners should adjust their goal and plan to run at a slower pace. If they were planning to run in fancy dress, they should think carefully if that is appropriate.’
There are almost 100 runners attempting world records dressed in outfits including a Paddington Bear costume and ski boots. Army sergeant Paul Beddows, from Sawtry in Cambridgeshire, is hoping to break the record for running a marathon in a suit of armour.
The 33-year-old will be encased in 35kg of metal as he tries to complete the 26.2 mile course in less than six hours and 46 minutes to raise money for the forces charity SSAFA. ‘It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time,’ he said, ‘but now the realities are sinking in.’ He said he was ‘quietly confident’.
Met Office meteorologist John West said: ‘Potentially we’re looking at highs of 23C but we could see some showers which could take a degree off.’
However, he added they could make it ‘that little bit more humid for runners’.
Most of the country can expect another day of sun today although there may be some coastal fog.