Marathon runner Nicola aims to be world’s fastest athletic witch

Nicola Nuttall ran as a witch in the London Marathon (s)

Nicola Nuttall ran as a witch in the London Marathon (s)

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Nicola Nuttall put on a spellbounding show and now she hopes to get her London Marathon performance dressed as a witch recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.

Mother-of-two Nicola, from Barrowford, ran last Sunday’s 26.2 mile race and, after a magical time of 3.31, she is sending off the evidence as she aims to be the fastest marathon witch in the world.

Guinness got back to me straight away with the specifics and said I had to beat four hours so I decided to give it a go

Nicola Nuttall

“I just wanted to do something different and obviously the theme of Pendle is close to home,” said the Trawden Athletic Club runner.

“I ran the Manchester Marathon two weeks ago in a personal best of 3.21 and I knew I wasn’t going to beat that so thought what could I do that was different and to get sponsors for the Alzheimer’s Society.

“I looked into becoming a witch, Guinness got back to me straight away with the specifics and said I had to beat four hours so I decided to give it a go.”

Nicola had to have a hat with a wide brim, had to wear a long dress and had to carry the broom all the way around - those were the specifications.

“It wasn’t easy but the crowd got me through. When you are in fancy dress you have to keep smiling all the way around and, when I had blisters I didn’t want to, but the crowd kept me going.

“I had numerous chants of ‘witch’ and ‘get on your broom’ and it was a phenomenal experience. When I crossed the line in 3.31 I was really emotional.”

Nicola, who is a director of Giddy Kippers Party and Play Centre in Nelson, now has to collect the evidence and have it verified by the Guinness Book of Records.

“It’s obviously not easy to get a record and there is a lot of hard work.

“I have to get witness statements from runners who saw me along the way, video evidence, photo evidence and more but it will be worth it.”

It had been a tough couple of weeks for Nicola as her father-in-law, Neal Nuttall (81), a former Head of Upper School at Fearns in Bacup, died of Alzheimer’s and Myeloma in the Royal Blackburn Hospital just after the Manchester Marathon.

She was already raising funds for the Alzheimer’s Society with her two marathons in two weeks and had hoped to raise £150 - but her total is now up to £1,500.

Nicola may now hang up her broom but not her running shoes as, after already doing New York, Boston, Chicago, Berlin and London Marathons, she aims to complete Tokyo next year.

To sponsor Nicola for the Alzheimer’s Society go to www.just-giving.com/Nicola-Nut