Dad hopes people will "love" his record breaking marathon attempt
It won't be difficult to miss dad-of-two Simon Howarth when he runs the London Marathon this Sunday.
For he will be taking part dressed as a heart/eyes smiley emoji and he hopes to achieve the world record for ‘The Fastest Marathon Dressed as an Emoji’ in the male category.
This is Simon's seventh London Marathon and this year he wanted to come up with an idea that would help to raise as much money as possible for the British Heart Foundation. Last year he ran the course with 50 helium balloons attached him, each with a dedication on.
He asked his wife Christine and daughters Layla (six) and four-year-old Ruby for ideas.
It was Layla who came up with the brilliant idea of running as the emoji.
Former Burnley man Simon, who now lives in Essex, said: "Layla said 'Dad, why not run as an emoji, the heart eyes one?'
"It seemed very obvious to her and the rest of us this was what I should do."
When Simon checked the Guinness World Record website to see if it would be viable he discovered he could create a record if he completes the course in four hours.
And although it is a light hearted theme, the reason for Simon competing in the London Marathon could not be more serious.
For his father died 26 years ago of a heart attack just one week before his 52nd birthday. Simon was only 12 and the loss of his father was devastating.
He said: "Now, as a family we all try to raise vital funds for the British Heart Foundation - if we can prevent just one family from going through losing a loved one in the way we did, it’s all worth it. "
Simon lived in Burnley until he was 16 and most of his family are still in the town.
He has worked at Canary Wharf Group for the last 10 years.
If you would to sponsor Simon please go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SimonHowarth