Alistair Rutherford, a Royal Birmingham Conservatoire student who earlier this year broke the Guiness World Record for running the fastest half marathon dressed as a musical instrument, is taking on double the challenge with a full marathon in Birmingham on Sunday 15 October.

Rutherford, 21, is fundraising for the UK-South African project, Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music & Birmingham Conservatoire, ARCO

ARCO has seen 24 South African string students aged eight to 17 selected to participate in weekly instrumental Skype lessons given by academics, current students and alumni of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Rutherford said: ‘After running the distance of the South African coastline during my third year of study at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and previously running a marathon when I was 17, I was struggling for fundraising ideas. One evening whilst in our local pub myself and fellow ARCO teacher Matt Johnstone joked about a Guinness World Record involving both the things I love: running and the viola.

‘With the half marathon record now under my belt, it seemed that the next logical step would be to try and become the world’s fastest musical instrument in the full marathon. Training has been going well and I am aiming to beat the record that currently stands at four hours, 14 minutes and 18 seconds.’

That record was set on 20 March 2016 at the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach by a runner dressed as a cowbell.