A CWMBRAN runner is aiming to be a modern day knight in shining armour later this year, when he takes on his first London Marathon in aid of his niece who suffers from a rare and “crippling” skin condition.
Mike Dodd, 25, will run the world-famous race on April 13 wearing leather boots, chain mail, and even a steel helmet.
But while knights might be used to defeating dragons, Mr Dodd is unlikely to be slaying the opposition in London with his outfit weighing him down by close to 20kg alone.
The web designer from Hollybush said it would be nothing in comparison to what his niece, Hannah Rosser, 16, lives with day in day out.
She suffers from the genetic skin blistering condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), which can see blisters, open wounds and sores can form as a result of the slightest touch, rub or trauma.
Mr Dodd said: “I will be running over 26 miles in this suit of armour and this is going to be extremely difficult but is nothing compared to what some people have to go through every day.”
Hannah really suffers with it, and some days she can’t even walk,” Mr Dodd added. “Other times her throat can blister just from eating.”
To help, he is fundraising for the charity Debra, and has set himself a target of £3,500. So far he has raised £1,300.
He said he had done a number of practise runs already in the suit, which he bought online.
“I did the Silvertsone Half Marathon in it and the helmet is extremely hard to breathe in,” he said. “The chain mail also pinches the skin which isn’t very pleasant.”
Despite this, he said he wanted to complete the race in under five hours and was looking forward to swapping the canal between Newport and Pontypool for the Thames and the London Bridge.
To donate see his fundraising page - www.justgiving.com/Mike-Dodd4
For more on Debra see www.debra.org.uk