A WOMAN will attempt to run the London Marathon on Sunday dressed as a killer whale ? for a bet.
Beanie Garnett, 25, of Bell Street, Henley, decided to take part after watching Blackfish, a documentary about the suffering of killer whales in captivity at SeaWorld in Florida.
A friend then bet her to run in fancy dress so she asked her aunt and uncle to make her the special costume.
She is running in aid of wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation.
Miss Garnett, a former rower who works for a software company, said: ?I?ve always said that if I ever ran a marathon I wanted it to be in London because it?s so iconic.
?When I watched Blackfish it really changed my thinking. I thought I could either sit at home and try not to think about it or raise awareness to stop families going to SeaWorld so it will go out of business.? Miss Garnett has run half marathons in Henley, Reading and Washington since September and was offered a place at London by the Born Free Foundation in November.
She has been training by running along the Thames towpath in Henley in her whale outfit. The costume was made by Steve and Nikky Shergold, from Gloucestershire, out of chicken wire and piping. It is named Lolita after one of the whales at SeaWorld in Miami.
Miss Garnett said: ?It got its first outing over the Easter bank holiday and last weekend I went out with six friends as support runners.
?I had to run on the bank because it was too big for the path. I?m a complete embarrassment to my friends but they said it?s the most fun they?ve ever had on a run.? Miss Garnett has already passed her fund-raising target of £2,000 and she has been contacted by Carol Ray, a former SeaWorld trainer who appeared in the documentary.
?I?ve had so much support from people I don?t even know, it?s overwhelming,? she said.
To sponsor her, visit www.justgiving.com/beanie-garnett
Kate Tooley, 44, of New Street, Henley, will be running in the London Marathon in aid of the Teenage Wilderness Trust.
She said: ?It?s a fantastic charity. It helps kids get back on track after being excluded from education.?
Mrs Tooley will be cheered on by husband Patrick and children Megan, 14, Madeleine, eight, and Oscar, six.
She hopes to raise £1,500. To donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/KateTooley