Astronaut is over the moon with his marathon world record

Simon Couchman has achieved a Guinness World Record for the Fastest marathon dressed as an astronaut.
Simon Couchman has achieved a Guinness World Record for the Fastest marathon dressed as an astronaut.

Keen runner Simon Couchman is officially a world record holder after achieving the fastest time for completing the London Marathon dressed as an astronaut.

Simon, 38, finished the 26.3 mile course on Sunday in 3 hours and 8 minutes, breaking the Guinness World Record by 11 minutes.

He finished 2,153rd out of the 33,613 runners who finished the race – which put him in the top six per cent of runners.

And in the process he raised £1,500 for Asthma UK, a charity close to his heart.

Simon, who lives in Scotforth, suffers from asthma, and as a child was unable to take part in sports at school.

But he hopes his marathon success will serve as inspiration to other asthma sufferers.

He said: “I couldn’t even run as a child, and rarely did PE, and only took up sport in my 20s, so I wanted to show that having asthma shouldn’t stop people achieving their goals.

“I still have to use inhalers but running really does help my asthma.

“One of the main reasons I wanted to support Asthma UK was to show that it shouldn’t hold you back.”

At the age of 26 Simon, the creative director at ICG in Warton, near Preston, decided to take control of the condition and has since run 20 marathons in 10 years.

He said: “I wanted to mark my 10 years of marathon running with an out of this world charity attempt.”

Dubbed the ‘asthmanaut,’ Simon pounded the streets of London dressed head-to-toe in a bright orange astronaut costume, helmet included, specially customised by his wife Jennifer.

And their 14-month-old daughter Genevieve also donned a mini astronaut costume to cheer on her daddy on Sunday.

It wasn’t the first time Simon had worn fancy dress for a marathon – he completed his first ever event dressed as a lobster, in a respectable three hours and 53 minutes.

Since then he has taken on the challenge of marathons in cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam, Berlin and Rome.

He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled that not only did I break the world record by 11 minutes, I’ve raised vital funds for a charity which is very close to my heart.

“Although it was a perfect day weather wise, I did start to feel the heat in the costume a couple of hours in to the race, but hearing the crowds chant ‘Space Man’ certainly boosted morale and spurred me on.

“Surprisingly I don’t feel too tired – I think I’m still running on the adrenaline of it all. I’ve promised Jennifer I’ll hang my trainers up for a while – that’ll give me time to think about my next running challenge!”

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