Part of the fun of the Manchester Marathon is always the array of fancy dress costumes on show - with runners making things extra difficult for themselves by donning an outfit guaranteed to enjoy plenty of support from the crowd.
And this year one of the participants who stood out was Chris Green in his huge 13kg rhino outfit.
Incredibly this year’s Manchester event was his 51st marathon dressed as a rhino - part of an Herculean ongoing effort to raise money for charity Save The Rhino.
Chris, who has even become known as “Rhinoboy”, spoke about taking on the 26.2-mile challenge once again and just why he spends so much time pounding the streets to help the rhino conservation effort around the world.
An amazing 51st marathon in a rhino costume
Chris’ 51st attempt at the marathon distance dressed as a rhino saw him complete the course through the streets of Manchester in four hours and 40 minutes.
He said Manchester is always a fun event to do due to the backing of the large crowds who come out to line the route and described what it is like to run a marathon in the 13kg costume.
The 46-year-old from Dorset said: “It was such an incredible day. Hopefully the city is still buzzing, because I know I am.
“There was such a great atmosphere and the crowds were awesome, especially for the rhino. I don’t think there were many moments when I couldn’t hear ‘save the rhino’ or something like that being shouted.
“People cheering you on makes such a difference.
“The rhino costume is really quite a massive suit. The body part comes right over your head and then you have the actual rhino head in front of you bouncing up and down.
“Your visibility is pretty restricted. You can see the end of the horn and a bit of the road or the runners’ feet in front of you. If you lean back you can catch the eyes of the supporters, which is one of the best feelings.
“I can also put my hands into the hooves and high-five kids. You can have a lot of fun with it. I always say the rhino brings out the big kid in everyone.”
Why does Chris do so much to support rhino conservation?
In total Chris has run 104 marathons and incredibly did back-to-back 26 mile runs over the two days of the weekend in which the Manchester Marathon fell on the Sunday.
He has had the rhino costume since 2009 and even did fund-raising for Save The Rhino in lockdown, climbing the equivalent height of Kilimanjaro in his house by going up and down stairs in the suit.
So far, he has had more than £14,000 donated to his fund-raising page and explained just why he puts in such a marathon effort for the giant land mammals.
He said: “I’ve loved rhinos ever since I was little, I’ve always adored them. As I got older I realised the trouble they are in and really wanted to get involved and help.
“It’s something I’m so passionate about. I can’t bear the thought of losing rhinos forever. The work that is being done by Save The Rhino is having a really positive effect.”
Chris has also written a children’s book about rhinos to inspire a new generation of conservationists and animal lovers and also holds two Guinness World Records for the fastest marathon and half-marathon dressed as a mammal.