Famous Rhino Costume To Make Great South Run Debut

Great Comeback 1

Limited places are available for the Great South Run, the Great South Run 5k and the Junior and Mini Great South Run at: Greatrun.org/South

A Portsmouth woman is planning to give everyone at the Great South Run a surprise when she takes on the 10–mile event in a 10 kilo Rhino costume.

Elly McMeehan, 33, is an advocate of rhino conservation and will run in the life like costume to raise awareness and money for international charity Save the Rhinos.

Over the years, Elly has become a huge supporter of conservation and completed the London Marathon in the mammoth fancy dress along with the familiar sight of a team of 17 others.

But her eye-catching costume will be the first rhino to appear at the Great South Run, the world's leading 10-mile running event when it returns to Portsmouth on Sunday 23 October.

The outfit will affect her time by 50 per cent and she will have limited vision, relying on a small slit at the front of the costume.

Elly, an account manager, said: “I am a huge supporter of conservation, I went on safari for my honeymoon and want to be able to raise awareness about supporting our animals.

“After taking part in the marathon, it was really tough, but I began looking for another challenge.

“It's really hard to manoeuvre but I am hoping the crowd keeps me going and I just try and focus on the pair of legs in front of me.

"The charity are so supportive and lent me the suit to take part in the Great South Run, I will be the first rhino to run the event.

“It's very life-like and I am hoping that the costume will grab people's attention and want to know more about supporting rhinos in the wild.”

The rhino costumes were given to the Save the Rhino charity in their London offices, from a musical in 1989.

The charity has been allowing runners to use the popular costumes since 1992 and they have since been seen at running events all around the world.

Ellie, who lives on the Great South Run route, is no stranger to the event, having ran it four times previously, but is prepared for the heavy costume to cause a lot of obstacles.

She added: “Although the weight is a big factor, the bigger struggle for me will be that I have to crane my head forward if I want to see further than three metres and it's hard to keep in a straight line, especially if it's windy.

“Wherever I have been the crowd really keep me going so I am hoping this year will be no different.

“I will have to keep myself going at mile six as I go right past my home and will have to resist the temptation to pop in for a cup of tea!”

The Great South Run, the world's leading 10-mile running event, returns to Portsmouth and Southsea this autumn.

The fast and flat course gives runners the chance to pass through the iconic Portsmouth Historic Dockyard before finishing on the seafront overlooking the Solent. 

The event has grown into a festival of sport with 25,000 runners taking part across the weekend of 22 and 23 October, including the Great South Run 5k and the Junior and Mini Great South Run.

To support Elly and Save the Rhino at the Great South Run, visit her fundraising page.

Limited places are available for the Great South Run, the Great South Run 5k and the Junior and Mini Great South Run at: Greatrun.org/South