Chief Pharmacist at The Royal Marsden to run the 2022 London Marathon with an unusual twist.

Rob Duncombe tells us about his plans for a tree-mendous world record attempt he will undertake at this year's London Marathon.

Rob running outside in a colourful Royal Marsden Cancer Charity running vest, cap and sunglasses.

“When I was offered the chance to run the London Marathon for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, I wanted to make it a special occasion and do something a bit different” says Rob.

On Sunday 2 October, Rob will be making an unusual world record attempt by running the 26.2 miles of the TCS London Marathon dressed as an oak tree. He aims to beat the current Guinness World Record for the fastest man to complete a marathon dressed as a tree, the record for which currently stands at four hours, five minutes, and six seconds.

“I have always been so impressed by the runners who do the London Marathon in fancy dress when I’ve taken part before – it truly adds to the experience!” says Rob. “The thing though that really inspires me is the patients at The Royal Marsden, who endure far more in their cancer journey than I will ever endure running a marathon dressed as a tree.”

Rob Duncombe running the London Marathon dressed in an Oak Tree costume

Fundraising for the Oak Cancer Centre

Rob’s costume was inspired by his fundraising for The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s Oak Cancer Centre Appeal. The Oak Cancer Centre will be a state-of-the-art treatment and research facility at the hospital’s Sutton site and will speed up the development of ground-breaking research, transforming the lives of cancer patients at The Royal Marsden and beyond.

The new centre will bring over 400 researchers, 350 clinical staff and thousands of patients together under one roof, ensuring The Royal Marsden can continue to advance treatments for the benefit of cancer patients worldwide.

“Running 26.2 miles is challenge enough but doing so in a costume like this while attempting to set a new Guinness World Record is hugely impressive. We will be cheering him on every step of the way” said Antonia Dalmahoy, Managing Director of The Royal to Cancer Charity.

“We are so grateful to Rob for taking on the London Marathon to support the building of The Oak Cancer Centre, which will accelerate the translation of world-leading research into breakthroughs in the treatment and care of cancer patients not only at The Royal Marsden, but worldwide.”

Photo of Rob in the Pharmacy at The Royal Marsden. He is smiling and wearing a blue shirt and NHS lanyard

“On a daily basis I see the amazing advances that are being made in the care and treatment of cancer patients. Over my career, I’ve had the privilege of seeing drugs developed by research at The Royal Marsden progress from very early clinical trials to being used to treat patients. This incredible research can only continue through the support of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. I’ll hopefully raise as much as possible for The Oak Cancer Centre, which is going to be an amazing facility.”

Follow his fundraising efforts and donate on Rob’s fundraising page

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