WHEN friends and family come to cheer Paul Brown on at the Brighton 10k this Sunday, they won’t have trouble finding him in the crowds. He’ll be dressed in a bright yellow 8ft tall costume.
The keen athlete from Wokingham is preparing to take part in the race dressed as Pikachu from the popular children’s card game and television series Pokémon.
And there’s a serious reason behind his silly costume: Paul will be supporting the work of the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice.
He got the bug for running in fancy dress when he took part in the annual Santa Dash in Windsor last year and has been plotting running in the outfit ever since.
He said: “I am really looking forward to the run but I have never challenged myself as much due to this costume being so big at 8ft tall.
“The costume has no air vents so it should be an interesting run.
“I chose Pikachu as it is such a recognised character amongst the young – and old so I am hoping for a lot of encouragement along the route.”
He added: “Raising money for Alexander Devine was an easy decision; they provide such an important service to inspirational youngsters and their families in my local area and I just want to try and do my bit to continue this amazing charity’s work.”
And his fundraising efforts have been welcomed by the hospice, which provides support to families of children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions across Berkshire and the surrounding communities.
Julia Philipson, Community Fundraiser for Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, said: “For a lot of people running 10km is a tough enough challenge, but to do it dressed in such a large and cumbersome costume is going to be quite a feat!
“We are thrilled Paul has chosen to support us in this challenge and we wish him the best of luck.
“We could not provide support for our families without the fundraising efforts of wonderful people like Paul, it really does make such a difference to us.”
The charity currently supports around 120 children and their families, but it is committed to growing its service and reaching out to every child and their family that needs it.
In Berkshire alone there are more than 600 children with life-limiting conditions.
To support Paul in his efforts, log on to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-brown125