We thought the ‘Angel of the North’ we met at the ‘Guinness World Record’ attempts marathon press conference was big, but that was before we saw Jean-Paul de Lacy and his giant Giraffe costume!
Jean-Paul also had his sights on the Guinness World Record for the ‘Tallest costume worn running in a marathon’ and had created a 22ft giraffe outfit to wear during the 2010 Virgin London Marathon.
At just 13 months old Jean-Paul de Lacy from Wokingham in Berkshire contracted meningitis and his parents were told to expect the worst. Now, over 20 years on, Jean-Paul is working full-time and completing an Open University degree.
After months of training without the entire costume and a couple of jogs and squats around the garden to test the 22ft giraffe, Jean-Paul was ready for his challenge of a lifetime. His older sister, Emma, said; “At the start of the race JP wasn’t nervous, he just wanted to get running. He did get a little upset, but that was just because the giraffe’s ear started to fall off!”
We first spotted him at the Green start where he struggled to get his neck under the start gantry. However, the sight of the giraffe head bouncing up and down as he ran across Tower Bridge was one not to be missed. From where we stood it looked like his giraffe neck was so tall he might not make it under the towers.
At the end of the race Jean-Paul spoke about his achievement, “I am so happy that I broke the record, I wanted to give up after the second mile, but I remembered my friend promised me a pint if I finished!”
He completed the Marathon in 5hrs 55mins and as well as being handed his medal at the finish line he also picked up the Guinness World Record certificate!
A huge well done to Jean-Paul from everyone here at Virgin Money Giving!