Diving suit man Lloyd Scott denied London Marathon farewell

Lloyd Scott Lloyd Scott once walked the marathon wearing a deep sea diving suit

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What do Indiana Jones, St George and Brian the Snail from the Magic Roundabout have in common?

They are just a few of the characters Lloyd Scott has adopted as his guise to complete the London Marathon over the years.

This year, the 50-year-old extreme charity fund-raiser planned to repeat the feat he is most famous for - walking the course wearing a 1940s deep-sea diving suit.

The former footballer said it would be his final challenge before retiring from the event, 10 years since he donned the suit for the first time and 25 years after he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

But marathon organisers have rejected his plans because a rule-change has meant competitors must complete the course within a day.

In 2002, Mr Scott took five days, eight hours, 29 minutes and 46 seconds to reach the finish line, while wearing the 130lb (59kg) suit.

"I am desperately disappointed by the decision," he said.

Race directors Dave Bedford and Hugh Brasher confirmed the rules have been altered.

"Our policy on this area has evolved and we do have to have a cut-off point and to restrict finish results and finishers medals to those competitors who finish the event before 18:00 BST on the same day of the start of the event," they said in a statement.


Lloyd Scott surrounded by Magic Roundabout characters

1993: Everest Marathon

1998: 135-mile Death Valley Ultra Marathon

2002: London Marathon in a deep-sea diving suit

2003: Loch Ness Underwater Marathon

2004: Penny farthing ride across Australia

2006: London Marathon wearing suit of armour, dragging 300lb (140kg) dragon

2007: London Marathon dressed as Indiana Jones dragging a boulder

2011: Crawled London Marathon in 26 days dressed as Brian the snail from The Magic Roundabout

Mr Scott, from east London but living in Essex, decided he wanted to don the diving suit one more time, last July, and says he has already raised £10,000 in sponsorship.

"[The charity also] had a number of fund-raising opportunities in place to raise a lot of money," he said.

He believes the London event is "without doubt the best marathon in the world" and the organisers "can be rightly proud of being the biggest fund-raising event on the planet.

"So, to miss out on this opportunity when the charities are having a really difficult time is immensely frustrating," he said.

But, marathon organisers said "the climate" surrounding the event is now "very different" and entrants have to complete the course on the same day.

Last year Mr Scott crawled around the course as Brian the Snail from the Magic Roundabout for the Action For Kids charity.

It took him 26 days to complete the challenge.

Tremendous support'

However, the charity terminated his contract as director of fund-raising less than two weeks later, claiming he did not raise enough money for them.

"I had tremendous support and sympathy from the public but I have a proven track record and I certainly don't want to finish on that note," he said.

"I was determined for my last marathon to be a fund-raising success."

For the man who played football for Blackpool, Leyton Orient and Watford, fund-raising has not stopped at marathons.

Lloyd Scott as Indiana Jones In 2007, Lloyd Scott completed the London Marathon, dressed as Indiana Jones, dragging a boulder

Having raised more than £5m for various charities over the years, his feats have ranged from cycling a penny farthing across Australia to an underwater marathon in Loch Ness.

In recognition of his charity work, last week he was selected to be an Olympic torchbearer.

Mr Scott also received an MBE in 2005 for his services to charity, which he joked should stand for "mad, bonkers and eccentric".

Now though, he is considering reducing his activities.

"I've had over 20 operations and a bone marrow transplant," he said.

"I've been training really hard, but it's time to start thinking about winding down a little bit.

"I really wanted to raise a lot of money for charity and go out the way I came in."

He said he has considered alternative ways that he could compete in this year's London Marathon on 22 April.

"But, there is no way I can attract the same amount of sponsorship and finish the way I would want to by trying to complete the course in a day," he said.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    Last year there were just 14 runners out of 34805 who finished outside 9 hours, so imposing a cut off is not exactly excluding many people. Most marathons have a much shorter cut-off. It also just isn't practical to have 100's of people on the course once the roads have been reopened - the whole course has to be cleared in time for Monday rush hour and the staff have to go home at some point.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    Sad day for the Marathon. I suppose its old Health and Safety again.

    Yet he is an adult, isn't it up to him if he wants to do it?

    Think of the money he will not be able to raise. Shame indeed, bad one London Marathon.

    Maybe we should sponsor him anyway? Let him go out on a high? But how would we do it?

    What a sad country the UK is turning into.

    Soon no eccentrics to make us different,

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    I'd like to see some of the cynical commenters on here run a marathon after having Leukaemia and a bone marrow transplant, this guy crawled it! Give him a break. Criticising him from behind your keyboard.

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    42. "Millions of pounds have been raised for charity by people doing the extra ordinary. The organisers have taken this away and made it a very ordinary race."
    There is nothing extraordinary or challenging about 'completing' a marathon in 9 hours, my old granny could do that. There is however something quite extraordinary about 'running' that distance, let alone in any time under 4 hours.

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    Only in Britain would people claim to have some kind of 'right' to take multiple days to complete a privately organised marathon event. I applaud people like Lloyd who find inventive ways to raise money for charity and put in considerable personal efforts to complete their challenge, but I can also understand the organisers deciding to set a time limit for official completion of the race.

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    I think the London marathon should get split into two groups and run in two different locations and on different days.

    The first group should be serious runners who can complete the course in 6 hours or less, should be held in London.

    The second group should be the rest, ie people dress as lemons, frogs, horses etc should be held on the grounds of a mental hospital near the Isle of Man.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    He should just DO IT anyway.

    Who cares what the "organisers" think

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    Doesn't say that he has to start the event on that day, just end it on the same day it (not he) started.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    Notice that it doesn't even say which charity he was planning to represent. He seems to do his stunts for any charity that'll have him - suggesting he cares less about the causes and more about getting publicity for his daft wheezes. Seems fair enough to me to curtail this silly, attention-seeking behaviour.

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    TheTreboethTerror - I'll stick up for Lloyd and other 'pointless' fun runners like me by assuring you that without charity, the world would be a very poor place indeed.

    But I still believe Lloyd can come up with a great challenge that can be completed within the day, and still raise lots of money. The rest of us have to!

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    The London Marathon started as a running race and seems to have morphed into a charity carnival. There is a place for both types of event, but I think we're straining the degree to which they can coexist.

    Anybody who takes more than 9 hours to complete the course can hardly be considered a runner, however noble their intent.

    As for it being elitist: that's kind of the point of a race.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    I think this is a very short sighted approach by stating people must finish by 6pm on race day. I remember the truly inspiring pictures of Michael Watson completing the course. Millions of pounds have been raised for charity by people doing the extra ordinary. The organisers have taken this away and made it a very ordinary race.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    "seriously - why? doing a marathon in a diving suit is like facebook or twitter - pointless!"

    It raises money for charity. It's because he does these daft things that people sponsor him. It does make me laugh when people like you decry something with an obvious purpose as "pointless", it smacks of a limited vocabulary or a total misunderstanding of what the word means.

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    seriously - why? doing a marathon in a diving suit is like facebook or twitter - pointless!

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    > 34. marc jenner

    I can no longer enter the London marathon (a supposedly open event) as I am now excluded by virtue of the one-day rule relative to my slow speed (caused by disability)!

    As for past Olympics (and the sport I can compete in) deservedly better sportsmen that I were selected, so your Olympic point is entirely spurious.

    Oaks signing off!

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    Anyone else commenting here raised £5 million?
    Don't criticise this mans methods then because he certainly knows how, where and when to raise money most effectively.
    Why the london marathon? Because that is where the big charity bucks are.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    Gabriel, anyone that commits to training for 4 months and completing the 26.2 miles has the right to call themselves an athlete, regardless of their respective finish time. The London Marathon is absolutely anything BUT an elitist event. Anyone can enter. If you participated, instead of just watching TV highlights, you would understand far better.

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    Such a shame for Lloyd Scott. The organisers kept the new rule very quiet; scared of any adverse publicity, perhaps? I used to like watching the London Marathon and cheering on the charity entrants - I'm not sure I'll bother now that they only seem to want the 'professionals' to take part.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    > 27 Disabled athletes are just that: athletes. Believe me, they all finish in under 9 hours.

    So the marathon is only open to athletes?

    Speaking as somebody from an athletic family surely there is a place in such a massive public event (that arguably disrupts the lives of many) for all or is this to simply become an elitist event?

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    Gabriel, seriously, should I sue the Olympics via the Equality Act as my 100m time of 15 seconds excludes from entering? And The Ships Cat, 35,000 'ordinary people' complete the marathon each year. They all train hard. Hardly excluding anyone is it? Out of interest, have either of you participated?


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