“RUNNING in a rhino costume is the best way I can get people to take notice and rally behind them.” 

These are the words of Chris Green from Christchurch who has run an incredible 158 marathons to raise awareness of the endangered species. 

The 48-year-old's love of the mammal started when he went on a family trip to Kenya at the age of five and in 2009 committed to running marathons to raise awareness. 

But it’s not just any old run. Chris runs in 10kg rhino outfit – a topic which raises a lot of questions from people. 

Bournemouth Echo:

Bournemouth Echo: Baby rhino at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire(Anthony Devlin/Whipsnade Zoo/PA)Baby rhino at Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire(Anthony Devlin/Whipsnade Zoo/PA)

“One of the things I love about the costume is that it brings out the big kid in everyone,” the removals operative and budding children’s author said.  

“I want to spread that natural joy everywhere I run and it’s the greatest pleasure of my life to spend a marathon being surrounded by so many smiles.  

“Everybody seems to love the rhino and running in the costume is the very best way I can think of to get people to take notice.  

“I want to inspire children and adults to love rhinos and rally everyone behind them.” 

Growing up, Chris had cuddly, soft rhino toys and posters decorating his bedroom, but he soon learned his favourite animals were one of the most endangered in the world.  

Currently, three of the five species of rhinos are critically endangered – Sumatran rhinos are particularly threatened, with an estimated 34 to 47 left in the wild. 

Bournemouth Echo:

Chris, also known as Rhino Boy Chris, will stir up a stampede of excitement at the Adidas Manchester Marathon, as he takes on the event once more in 2024. 

To be held on April 14, the marathon will mark Chris’ 99th event dressed as a mammal. He will join a herd of more than 30,000 participants. 

“The Adidas Manchester Marathon has a special place in my heart because it is one of those cities that is always so warm and welcoming for me and the rhino costume,” he said.  

“The atmosphere is always electric! You can’t buy or replicate that feeling anywhere and you never want it to end. 

“I always say that it would be nice to beat my record time, but I also think that sometimes the best time is having a great time with people.” 

Chris is running to support Save the Rhino International - a charity which runs rhino conservation programmes across Africa and Asia.  

His fundraising efforts have raised more than £22,000 for since the start of his running journey. 

He added: “Save the Rhino works tirelessly to save my favourite animal and I know that without them, we would’ve lost many more rhinos. 

“That's been a major spur for me. I always say I will not stop running as long as there are rhinos that need saving because I am so inspired by the work of the charity.” 

To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rhinoboychrisgreen