A Sussex man who runs marathons and ultramarathons dressed as a rhinoceros has won a Guiness World Record.
Chris Green, from Horsham, who has run 51 marathons in total, holds the record for the fastest time to complete a marathon dressed as 3D animal.
He said: “I’m still buzzing even today. It’s amazing. It feels great to represent Horsham on the world stage.
“At the London Marathon this year my time of 4:32 in the rhino costume even qualified as a Guinness World Record.
“I will not rest as long as the rhinos are in trouble.
“I believe that saving our animals for future generations is one of the greatest legacies we can leave behind.”
Chris has been running in aid of Save The Rhino International for around 10 years and has completed 21 ‘rhino challenges’ since last July.
He has completed four marathons dressed as the animal he loves and even one ultramarathon.
He added: “I have loved them my whole life. As soon as I heard more about the danger they’re in I just felt like I needed to do something to try and make a difference.”
Chris has run about 260 miles in the suit so far.
He said: “It’s a privilege to run in the costume, and get all the rhino love and attention.
“I just don’t think people realise the danger they’re in. Having that rhino love behind you keeps you going mile after mile.”
Kept awake at night
Chris said he’s spent sleepless nights concerned about the rhino’s plight.
He added: “It does keep me awake at night worrying we’re going to lose them forever.
“[Protecting animals is] one of the greatest legacies we can leave behind. People love animals but I think we all in our day to day lives don’t realise we’re in danger of losing one of the most iconic species.
“That’s what breaks my heart. We’re able to make a change and stop the crazy, senseless trade in rhino horns.”
Running in the suit is hot, uncomfortable and awkward according to the rhino mad runner.
He said: “You’re inside the body with the head on your chest.
“The faster you run the more the head bobs up and down. All parts of your body which shouldn’t be hurting when you’re doing a marathon.”
But Chris said the pain is worth it to bring joy to so many onlookers.
He added: “You will catch the eye of somebody beaming a smile to you. You can put your hands into the rhino hooves and start high fiving the kids.
“As awkward as it is [wearing the suit], it’s a pretty special feeling.”
Despite running more than 200 miles in the suit so far, Chris isn’t finished.
He’s taking on two more marathons in the suit on Friday and Saturday this week.
Chris said: “I will not stop running until we can make a difference.
“In Bournemouth I’m going to have a go at beating the Guiness World record and beating my own time.
“It’s my birthday as well - what a way to celebrate!”
Meeting your heroes
Chris has been besotted with rhinos since first seeing them as a young boy.
He said a family visit sparked his lifelong passion but next year he hopes to get even closer.
He added: “I would love to get a little bit closer.
“When I was a boy my family took me to meet the rhinos and I fell in love with them.
“It’s definitely my dream... to get out to Africa and see them. Maybe even take the suit. I reckon taking it to Africa to meet the rhinos as a rhino would be pretty special.”
To donate to Chris’ fundraiser, which has raised more than £2,000 visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/rhinoboychrisgreen