A BUILDER dressed as Wally from the Where's Wally? books is gunning for a new world record at the London Marathon on Sunday.
Phil Clarke, of Parkstone, is aiming to become the fastest man ever to run the 26 mile endurance race dressed as a character from a book.
Sporting the trademark red and white stripes of the goofy looking man famed for getting lost in the crowd, the 37-year-old will have to dislodge current record holder David Stone, who clocked up a time of 2hrs 42mins 17secs at the 2012 event - dressed as Dracula.
Phil, who has been running 100 miles a week to prepare for the challenge, said it has always been his dream to see his name in the Guinness Book of World Records.
“I initially thought 'Where's Wally?' counted as a cartoon character,” admitted Phil.
This means American Edward Ditmyer, who ran the fastest marathon dressed as cartoon character Charlie Brown at the Detroit Marathon in 2011, can breathe easy for a little while longer.
“The record for that is five minutes slower so I'm really going to have to give it everything to get the book character record,” he added.
“My friends think I'm crazy for not finding another cartoon character - but I had my heart set on Wally.”
Phil has run the London Marathon twice before but never broken through the three hour barrier.
Seven years after his last attempt Phil said he is more confident this time and has additional motivation as he strives to raise more than £1,500 for children's charity WellChild.
“They help sick children. I can't think of a better cause than that,” he said.
“The bravery, spirit and determination of the children, parents and families WellChild supports really inspire me.”
The charity's chief executive Colin Dyer said he is delighted Phil is using the occasion to raise money.
He added: “I thank Phil for all the hard work he has put in and wish him every success in his record attempt.”
To sponsor Phil, visit www.justgiving.com/Philip-Clarke6.