Page last updated at 11:07 GMT, Saturday, 12 April 2008 12:07 UK

Wacky racers prepare for marathon

Michelle Frost on 4ft stilts
Michelle Frost hopes the run will not be too painful

A woman on stilts and a 101-year-old plumber are just some of the 40,000 people taking part the London Marathon.

Michelle Frost hopes to break the record for the longest distance covered on 4ft (1.2m) stilts.

Buster Martin, 101, hopes to become the oldest person to complete the 26.2 mile (42km) race.

The weather could be on their side with forecasters predicting "perfect temperatures" for the run, which begins at 0830 BST on Sunday.

Ms Frost, who is raising money for the Reach volunteer charity, said: "It was a bit of a spur of the moment idea because I could already stilt walk, and I thought why not?

"Hopefully it will not be too painful. Hopefully the pain will come after I've finished.

"I sure to have blisters on my shins, and my hips will hurt from carrying all that weight around."

Mr Martin, who has 17 children, and finished the Roding Valley half-marathon in Essex in March, said: "I may not be a millionaire in money, but I'm a millionaire in health."

Others aiming to complete the race include 25 Met Police officers linked together, basketballer Jean-Yves Kanyamibwa dribbling a basketball and Lloyd Scott, who is wearing a 9ft (2.74m) robot suit and expects to finish on Friday.

Six Maasai warriors from Tanzania will run wearing traditional clothes, shoes made from car tyres and plan to sing along the route.

The warriors are raising money to provide safe drinking water for their village, Elaui, in east Africa.

Celebrities running include James Cracknell, Adrian Chiles, Graham Poll, Jonathan Pearce, Phil Daniels and Amanda Holden.

They will all be helped by lower temperatures than last year when runners suffered in 21C heat.

Meteogroup UK's Michael Dukes warned there could be a heavy shower during the race but added: "It will be a lot cooler than last year.

"Temperatures will be around 7C or 8C and when the last stragglers are coming in, it will be around 11C or 12C.

"So we expect to see perfect temperatures for marathon running."

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