Rotherham runner Karen rings in a record race at London Marathon

Karen Stebel takes part in the London Marathon in her phone costumeKaren Stebel takes part in the London Marathon in her phone costume
Karen Stebel takes part in the London Marathon in her phone costume
ROTHERHAM runner Karen Stebel could technically be accused of “phoning her performance in” at this year's London Marathon – but only in the best possible way...

For the 37-year-old is a Guinness World Record breaker after taking the title of 'fastest marathon dressed as a mobile phone (female)' after she completed the event in four hours eight minutes and 42 seconds.

The proud title holder ran the 26.2 miles in the fancy dress outfit for Coeliac UK – a disease which affects her and several of her relatives.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She said: “I have it, so does my niece, my sister and my cousin and eating gluten affects us all in different ways.

Karen Stebel with Guinness World Record adjudicator Mark McKinleyKaren Stebel with Guinness World Record adjudicator Mark McKinley
Karen Stebel with Guinness World Record adjudicator Mark McKinley

“Some are affected by bloating, while others come out in a rash when they eat it.

“I wanted to raise as much money as I could, as well as raising awareness of the auto-immune disease, as it is believed that thousands of people have the condition without realising it.”

She opted for a phone costume after investigating which outfits had not previously been worn and broken records.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“This is my fourth marathon,” she said, “but I have not been lucky enough to be selected for the London Marathon before and always said if I was I would run it in fancy dress as something instantly obvious to people.

“I had to train in the suit, running around Kilnhurst and Swinton – much to the amusement of the locals!

Dogs hated the costume – they barked their heads off at me, children loved it and laughed while adults would give me a wary look as if to say 'What on Earth!?'”

Karen's was one of 44 official titles broken at this year’s event, including other females dressed as a skeleton and a mechanic, while males donned cumbersome costumes including a rocking horse and an emoji.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Her achievement raised £1,300, while collectively runners raised more than £17,000 for Coeliac UK.

On reaching the finish line she said: “It was absolutely amazing.

“I cried my eyes out – tears of joy, relief, happiness and excitement.”

Let's just hope she didn't ‘run up’ a big phone bill...

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.