Sunny spells


17°C | 12°C

Light showers


16°C | 7°C

Mostly Cloudy


18°C | 8°C

Home   Medway   News   Article

Chatham man set to run 26.2 miles in a monkey suit

23 January 2014
by Rebecca Hughes

Gary Simmonds, of Dornden Gardens, Lordswood, will be swapping his running shorts for a monkey suit.

Gary Simmonds, of Dorner Gardens, Lordswood

Gary Simmonds, of Dorner Gardens, Lordswood

The 53-year-old decided he wanted to run the 26.2-mile route in the furry costume to make it more of a challenge, having already completed five full marathons before.

He is running on behalf of the Micro and Anophthalmic Children’s Society (MACS), the UK’s national charity for children born with no or underdeveloped eyes.

“I picked MACS because my cousin, Emma May, was born with tunnel vision, and now she is totally blind,” he said.

“It is a great cause, and supports families of babies and children born with underdeveloped or blind eyes.

“I can’t imagine what it would be like to have no eyes at all.

“MACS’ mascot is a monkey, which is why I’m wearing a monkey suit.”

Mr Simmonds knows it is going to be a challenge.

“I’ve done the London Marathon a couple of times, but the last one was 21 years, “ he said.

“I used to do it in just over three hours, but 26 miles is quite a long way to go in costume. I tried running in it and it was hard work. I did five miles and the sweat was pouring into my eyes.”

He is determined to complete the course, however.

“Even if I have to walk it, I will definitely do it,” he said.

Mr Simmonds is hoping to raise at least £1,200. To donate, visit

Thousands of people will take part in the Virgin London Marathon on April 13. If you are one of them, we would love to feature your story.

Call the newsdesk on 01634 227803 or email

Click here for more news from Medway.

Click here for more news from around the county.