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Funeral Director hoping to set world record by running marathon wearing mourning suit and top hat

A Funeral Director is hoping to break down the taboos around discussing death while raising vital funds for charity by running the London Marathon in his full work attire – including frockcoat and top hat.

Anghus Weightman, who works alongside his father Paul at Godalming Funeral Service, has been inspired by Hospice UK’s Dying Matters campaign, which aims ‘to make things better for people across the country who are dying or grieving.’

The 34-year-old is hoping to set the fastest marathon time run by a Funeral Director in their full uniform ever and has contacted the team at Guinness World Record to verify whether the record exists or if he is the first to attempt the feat.

Anghus, who has run the Brighton Marathon twice and completed two virtual marathons during the Covid-19 lockdowns, has now begun training while wearing the three-piece outfit in preparation for the world-famous 26-mile challenge in the capital on April 21.

He said: “I used to do some buggy running and around Christmas I would wear a festive suit and decorate the pram. It would put a smile on people’s faces.

“For this particular idea, I’ve been really inspired by the Dying Matters campaign.

“Death isn’t something to avoid talking about, and when people do pass away it doesn’t mean you can never mention them again.

“I also want to try and get away from the stereotype of a Funeral Director being scary or unapproachable, it’s just not the case, and hopefully doing this will start conversations.

“I will be running wearing the attire I wear when conducting funerals, it hasn’t been altered at all, so it is a real challenge.

“If it’s wet the suit gets heavy, if it’s sunny then it will be hot and if there is any wind then the hat is going to be unstable.”

So far, Anghus has raised more than £2,500 for Hospice UK, and is hoping to raise £5,000 in total, which will be boosted by a bake sale at Godalming Funeral Service in Bridge Road on April 4.

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