Rhino runner James ready for London Marathon
Published on 22 April 2019
A University of Dundee student hopes to stampede to fundraising success this weekend as he runs the London Marathon dressed as a rhino
James Fleming, a third-year Biomedical Engineering student from Zimbabwe, will run the 26 mile-course in an eight-kilogram outfit to fundraise for the charity Save the Rhino on Sunday 28 April.
The 21-year-old Founder and President of the Tennent’s Lager Appreciation Society on campus hopes to raise a glass of his favourite beverage on Sunday night to mark the end of a challenge he’s been dreaming about for years.
James, who will be running alongside the likes of Mo Farah, Jaime Peacock MBE and broadcaster Chris Evans, said it was an honour to be chosen as one of the fifteen rhinos running in this year’s race.
“I cannot wait to get down to the start line and set off,” he said.
“Wearing the outfit in any heat will be sweltering but it’s the best way to raise awareness of the rhino’s plight.
“Three out of five species of rhino are now critically endangered, so we have to act fast if we are going to be able to make a difference.”
The marathon-effort won’t be the first time the 21-year-old has got behind a cause. What began as a love for the Scottish lager Tennents soon blossomed into an active community of like-minded students. But James said he would happily trade in his Tennents for his chance on the tarmac if it meant an earlier end to poaching.
“The society was a passion project for myself and others who really love the taste of Tennent's Lager but the generosity from the lager-loving community worldwide has been amazing. They have really got behind raising money for the rhinos.
“For the price of a pint, a donation to Save the Rhino could buy a life-saving first aid kit. A £30 donation could provide much-needed uniforms, boots and gear for the rangers who are on the frontline protecting the rhinos. If we can help stop poaching and halt habitat loss then the rhinos could thrive again within the next 20 years but the time to act is now.”
The first London Marathon took place in 1981. Since then there have been 38 London Marathons with millions of pounds raised for charity every year. More than 414,000 people applied to enter this years’ race which takes place on Sunday 28 April.
Press Office, University of Dundeepress@dundee.ac.uk