Sunderland Army officer attempts to break riot gear record in London Marathon – despite shoulder surgery

Chris Collier has completed the Great North Run in the past.
Chris Collier has completed the Great North Run in the past.
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A Wearside army officer who is recovering from shoulder surgery is hoping to beat a world record as he completes the London Marathon in full riot gear.

Chris Collier, who is originally from Sunderland, but now lives in Richmond, North Yorkshire, will take part in the 26.2-mile event on Sunday, April 24.

Chris Collier with daughter Abigail, who has coeliac disease.

Chris Collier with daughter Abigail, who has coeliac disease.

The 36-year-old is a captain in the army’s parachute regiment, and will be raising funds for Coeliac UK, the national charity for people with the disease. His daughter Abigail, six, has the condition.

The world record for running a marathon in full riot gear stands at four hours 59 minutes, and Chris hopes to smash that – despite breaking his shoulder in January after a skiing accident.

The full riot gear consists of a helmet, visor, combat body armour, leg and arm guards, fireproof underlayer, military boots, riot shield and baton. In total, the equipment weighs a hefty 18kg.

Chris said: “I am running the London Marathon this year to raise awareness and to raise funds for Coeliac UK, because it is only by supporting charities like this, that my daughter and others with coeliac disease will ever stand a chance of living a normal life.

Despite me recently breaking my shoulder in a skiing accident, training is going fairly well

Chris Collier

“This is my fourth consecutive London Marathon, but the first time wearing anything other than traditional running kit.

“Despite me recently breaking my shoulder in a skiing accident, training is going fairly well.”

Chris has raised more than £600 so far, and hopes to reach £2,000 as he supports those with coeliac disease, which is a serious autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten.

To help raise awareness, Coeliac UK’s Awareness Week takes place from May 9 to 15, and will focus on finding the half-a-million people in the UK who have coeliac disease, but don’t know it.

To sponsor Chris, visit www.justgiving.com/riot.