I’ve volunteered to run the London Marathon next year and am raising money for Save The Rhino. My fundraising link is here . Please bung a few quid in the direction of the rhinos.
I picked up the suit from the offices of Save The Rhino on 30th November and then had the wonderfully bizarre experience of trying to get it back to Cambridge on public transport. Fortunately everyone we encountered was absolutely wonderful and splendidly helpful.
We hung around at the Save The Rhino Office for a while, took some pictures and video and then set off back to Cambridge.
Walking back to Borough tube station we were tooted many times by passing traffic and then ushered through the turnstiles by the lovely folks at the Borough. They asked me to do a bit of posing as they took pictures with their phones to show what sort of people they had to deal with every day. Being the frightful poseur that I am I was only too happy to be photographed by the people on the turnstiles.
I couldn’t stand up straight on the tube train and spent most of my time bent over trying not to get in the way of people boarding and alighting the train. I heard someone say to Carrie, “he could sit over here.” She thanked them but said “I don’t think it’s possible for him to sit down.” We lurched out at Kings Cross and into the train station. Thankfully we had got there before rush hour and so managed to find a place where I could unlatch myself from rhino costume and drape it across several seats.
We had wondered about catching a bus from Cambridge train station but having now witnessed the sheer size of this rhino costume we realised that it just had to be a taxi. We were asked searching questions about the costume in the queue. These are the same questions I am asked many times so I shall try to answer them here:
How heavy is it? Not very heavy. It’s only about 10 kilogrammes but it is frightfully awkward and bounces about everywhere.
Is it really difficult to get in and out of? Not as difficult as you might think. It’s got a rucksack structure inside it so you just need to strap it on.
Can you see out of it? Not very well. I have no peripheral vision. I just see a porthole in front of me and so rely quite heavily on people with me to make sure I don’t veer left or right in front of other folks.
Do you think you can run a marathon in it? Currently no. I don’t have the strength or stamina to run 26 miles in this contraption. I dearly wish that I could, as it would be brilliant for Save The Rhino if I could promote them in that way.
We got into a taxi with some difficulty. We put the head in the boot and the costume in the back seat. It entirely filled up the space there and I slid underneath it. I suspect the driver wasn’t entirely pleased that the spikes that the head slides on to were digging into his roof. I’m pretty sure that they didn’t do any damage.
The rhino suit is now filling up our spare bedroom. No visitors I’m afraid until the rhino has left the building.
The cats are now terrified of that room
Finally I would like to say thank you here to Grace at Save The Rhino who has already given me so much help and encouragement. Also to my wife Carrie who helped me to get the costume home and gave massive support on my first run in the rhino suit, of which more in the next blog post.