Perse teacher is game for marathon world record attempt

Perse teacher Alison Stewart is raising her game as she bids to set a world record at next month’s TCS London Marathon.

Ethiopian star Tigst Assefa need not worry about her women’s marathon standard of 2hr 11min 53 sec being beaten by biology teacher Mrs Stewart.

Instead, Mrs Stewart has her sights set on smashing the world record for the fastest time covering the 26.2-mile distance as a female video game character on Sunday 21 April.

She will be hitting the capital’s roads dressed as the skilful martial artist Chun Li from the iconic Streetfighter series, while raising funds for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH), with the aim of completing the course in 3hr 20min.

Previously a high-level rower, Mrs Stewart switched to running and got into marathons as a guide for one of her students who had limited visibility while working at City of London School.

If Mrs Stewart meets her challenge, it will not be the first occasion she has set a global standard in the event, having achieved the world record for the quickest marathon time dressed as a fairytale character in London in 2019.

She said: “That idea came from my daughter, who was eight at the time. I ran as Snow White as she loved the book.

“It was really fun, you feel like a celebrity! Children were calling your name and it was nice to have that interaction.

“My record was beaten was last year though, and my daughter said ’what am I going to tell my friends now?’ so suggested I give it another go.

“Both she and my step-kids love playing on the Xbox, whereas I’m always telling them to turn it off, so I thought it would be fun and ironic to try to break the record as a video game character!

“They suggested Princess Peach, but my partner’s favourite character is Chun Li, so I chose her as I wanted to run as a strong and inspiring female character.”

Mrs Stewart warmed up for London by running as Chun Li for the first time at the TTP Cambridge Half Marathon last Sunday.

She said “It made it a fun day out. I’m glad I did because there were so many great comments from children pointing me out to their parents!”

Mrs Stewart has set a target of raising £500 for EACH, having chosen the charity after a girl living in her village was recently diagnosed with the terminal neurological condition Batten disease, and one of her friend’s children having had brain tumours.

You can donate to Mrs Stewart’s marathon effort for EACH by clicking here.

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