8th February 2018
We love a bit of Star Wars here at Breathe Unity but you don’t have to be a Star Wars fan to appreciate the incredible achievements of The Running Stormtrooper, who we documented last year on our Unity Zone.
The stormtrooper himself, Jez Allinson, had hung up his costume after what had been a fantastic two years combining his love of running with his love of Star Wars and the opportunity to raise money for charity. Jez’ chosen charity was Make A Wish, a charity that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions, and for which he had raised £5335 in 2016 and a staggering £13,376 in 2017.
His achievements last year included earning a place in the Guinness Book of Records for running the fastest marathon dressed as a Star Wars character (the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon, right), running a half marathon on a treadmill every day for four days at a sci-fi convention in Orlando, again in costume, and running 40 miles in full Stormtrooper gear around Pinewood Studios to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. It was an exhausting but phenomenal year which saw Jez raise an enormous amount of money for an extremely deserving cause; the full video of achievements and credits can be seen here.
Young Star Wars fans have also reaped the benefits, with Jez being approached by local primary schools to go in and help them set up running clubs, show the children his race medals and inspire them to get into running. This has been a really rewarding part of his Stormtrooper journey in motivating the younger generation to take up the sport he loves.
This third and final chapter certainly promises to be a fitting ending to the story, with Jez set to run the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon once more in full stormtrooper costume. This time he will be sharing the charity money between Make a Wish and another children’s charity, Spread a Smile, which helps to bring joy and laughter to children and teenagers in hospital even in the most desperate of situations.
Word has it that a charity runner dressed up as Darth Vader will be out there in London attempting to beat The Running Stormtrooper’s Guinness World Record, but Jez is philosophical at the thought of being overtaken by Darth Vader. He sees it more as an opportunity to promote awareness of their achievements and charity fundraising than anything else. “I may lose the title, but if it generates more money for charity then it will all be worth it,” he admits.
The grand finale to The Running Stormtrooper’s adventures will be a 100km run in 24 hours around Pinewood Studios on 17th May 2018. To ensure that he is able to run 100km in one day in the costume, Jez will need to start running at midnight around an illuminated compound on-site. Then, when the sun rises, he will continue his challenge in the adjacent Black Park woods before returning to run the last kilometre at Pinewood Studios.
“I reckon it will take me around 17 hours,” he says, and even this would be a remarkable time given that, when in full Stormtrooper costume, he can’t bend over, bend his knees much, tie his shoes, scratch his face, go to the toilet, see much, hear much, drink or eat. To consider running 100km in such an outfit is a massive challenge, and one that’s truly worthy of donations to his chosen charities.
And once he’s recovered from running an epic 100km in 24 hours…will that really be it, then? Jez laughs as he realises he has said this once before. 2018 might be the perfect end to The Running Stormtrooper trilogy, but it certainly won’t be the end of his running adventures. Work permitting, he may make an appearance at The Running Festival at Goodwood this autumn, a highly anticipated new event at the iconic Goodwood race circuit in Sussex.
Whatever happens, he should be rightly proud of everything he has achieved and we wish him all the best for the final chapter of The Running Stormtrooper Trilogy.
May the force be with you, Jez!
Find out more about The Running Stormtrooper at stormtrooperrun.com.
Jez’s 2018 JustGiving page can be found here.