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Jennifer in her running pyjamas

Going for gold (in pyjamas)

Alumna Jennifer Graham (Exercise and Sports Science, 2012) will be joining thousands of runners taking on the London Marathon next month, but in slightly different attire to the others.

Jennifer is attempting to take the World Record for the fastest female dressed in pyjamas to run a marathon, while also raising money for charity.

Jennifer said: “After running the London Marathon in 2019 I joked about going for a world record in fancy dress in 2020, then spent a good bit of time laughing at some of the more unusual costumes that people had broken records in.

“A few weeks later I realised that the world record idea had firmly planted itself in my head and I kept thinking how great it would be to run in pyjamas! I love lounging in my pyjamas and thought they'd be perfect to run in - being loose and comfortable, surely they won't slow me down too much? I also wanted a costume that I wouldn't necessarily have to train in or get used to running in.

“When I looked into it, I discovered that the record for fastest marathon in pyjamas didn’t exist for a female (there are, however, female records for fastest marathon dressed as a bottle, an egg and a stationery item!), so I applied to Guinness World Records to have it created… and here we are.”

Jennifer’s running pyjamas have been donated by a local company and have already had outings at her local parkrun and for the Vitality Big Half earlier this month in order to promote her attempt.

She said: “I started running when I was 12 - I did a lot of sports as a child, but after I won a race at school my dad took me to the local athletics club and that was the sport that stuck. I ran middle-distance throughout secondary school, and when I came to Exeter I joined the athletics club but started doing more long distance running. My first half marathon was actually the Great West Run in Exeter in 2011. I've ran to varying extents ever since and the marathon this year will be my third. 

“Because this is a new record, there's not technically a time to beat, but GWR have set the bar at 4:00hrs. If I can run in the low 03:50's I'll be happy. If I can beat my time from last year (03:48) I'll be ecstatic!”

Good luck Jennifer!

Date: 9 March 2020

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