A runner from Winchester has broken the Guinness World Record for fastest marathon run in a sleeping bag at this year’s London Marathon, which took place on the 28th April. Ben Burfoot, 44, from the Fulflood area of Winchester, set a new record of 3 hours, 41 minutes, and 59 seconds – beating the former record by just over two minutes!
Ben ran in a sleeping bag to raise awareness of homelessness and vital funds for Winchester Churches Nightshelter. His fundraising campaign has raised almost £2,500 for the charity, which helps those experiencing homelessness in Hampshire.
In order to break the World Record, which was adjudicated on the day by Guinness World Records, Ben had to run the 26.2 mile course wearing his sleeping bag upside down, with the zip done up to his shoulders and his arms tucked inside, leaving his feet free to run. He was one of 38 other Guinness World Record achievers on the day.
He commented: “It’s great to be a World Record holder, but towards the end I was just close enough to the former record to be a bit nervous, so I really had to speed up. The race was fine most of the time though, and really, really fun. The amount of support on the course is just unbelievable, particularly when you’re dressed in something as unusual as a sleeping bag! You’ve really got to dig deep, but the support helps get you round.”
He added: “There were lots of factors that could have impacted on my performance on the day itself, however the weather was absolutely perfect for running in a sleeping bag – cloudy and overcast, with a breeze, which definitely helped me break the World Record. A big thank you to all those who have supported my campaign.”
Michele Price, Nightshelter Manager, said: “We’re always incredibly grateful when our supporters raise money for us, and this is probably one of the most unusual ways that anyone has ever done so! We are thrilled that Ben achieved his aim of breaking the World Record for sleeping bag running, and in such high-profile fashion, too! Everyone at the Nightshelter thanks Ben for all his hard work, and the vital funds he has raised for the charity.”
Ben has been documenting his training in a vlog, which can be viewed on Winchester Churches Nightshelter’s Youtube channel. You can still support Ben’s World Record campaign at www.virginmoneygiving.com/BenBurfoot or follow his journey using the hashtag #MoreThanASleepingBag on social media.