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Supported dad wonders if he’s bitten off more than he can ‘Chewie’ as he takes on the London Marathon for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices

September 28, 2022

For some, taking on the London Marathon is one of the toughest challenges they’ll face, however seasoned runner and supported dad, Paul Chandler, has decided to up that challenge on galactic scale!

In a true feat of ‘Endor’ance Paul is set to run the 2022 London Marathon dressed as the iconic Star Wars character Chewbacca – in none other than a film replica costume of the furry fan favourite. Paul won’t be running ‘Solo’ however as he’s being backed by Chewie’s co-pilot himself, the legendary Harrison Ford.

Paul explains more, “I work in retail with bikes and last Spring Harrison Ford came into the shop. He was in the UK filming and was after some cycling kit and we just got talking.”

During his stay Harrison would regularly pop into the shop to speak to Paul and they have continued to stay in touch.

Paul continues, “For the 2021 marathon I ran in an Indiana Jones costume and got a bit of grief as it wasn’t testing enough, so given the connection the obvious choice was Chewbacca! I’ve already resided myself to the fact I won’t be very fast and its set to be very sweaty, but I have no intention of breaking any records – just enjoying myself in a very hot suit!”

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices supported Paul’s son Dominic, and their family, for many years. 16-year-old Dominic was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) just before his third birthday. DMD is a genetic muscle weakening and wasting condition that has no known cure. The condition continues to decline throughout childhood and has left Dom wheelchair bound. After such devastating news, Paul began looking for ways to cope with the realities of Dom’s condition and found solace in running.

“I think anyone who’s been given news like that tends to do things to take their mind off it – especially men. I started running to take my mind off things and process what was going on and started doing longer and longer distances.”

Paul has ‘Aledrann’ing experience needed for this epic task, completing a huge number of runs and marathons over the years in aid of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices. He’s also well-versed in completing the 26.2 miles through the capital in all sorts of costumes, including a plethora of Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters. Chewie however is set to the one of the most uncomfortable.

Paul said, “It’s full-on fur with internal rubber, so I don’t think it could be any hotter – it’s as hot as it gets. I’ve been out for a 10-mile run and a park run or two but don’t want to make it too unhygienic for the big day! People do wonder what an earth I’m doing – it’s not the normal thing seeing someone randomly dressed as a Wookie whizz by you!”

When asked if he can do the authentic Chewbacca noise, Paul said, “Absolutely not, no. If you hear anything that resembles a Wookie noise coming from me, I’m probably wailing in pain!”

Paul will be joined by 52 amazing runners taking on the ultimate challenge in aid of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices. To donate to Paul (go on ‘Yoda’ know you want to!) visit his JustGiving page.  

Good luck to Paul and may the force be with you and to all our our London Marathon marvels!