Thornton Road GP’s marathon world record attempt in traditional dress


By - Tuesday 7th April, 2015

By attempting to break the world record for running a marathon in a sari, local GP Suthan Ulakanathan is raising money for a wish-granting charity for seriously ill children and young people.


Photo by Deep South Media, used with permission.

Release begins: Croydon GP Suthan Ulakanathan will be swapping his stethoscope for a sari next month when he attempts a record-breaking marathon run for charity.

Dr Ulakanathan, 31, of the Thornton Road Surgery in Croydon, will try to break the world record for running the fastest marathon whilst wearing a sari at the London Marathon on Sunday April 26.

All the money he raises will be going to the charity Round Table Children’s Wish which grants the wishes of children and young people with life-threatening illnesses.

Asked what prompted his unusual choice of race wear, Dr Ulakanathan explained: “It’s all my friend Anchala’s fault really.

“I wanted to run the marathon for charity and found that the charity Round Table Children’s Wish had places for people willing to raise money for them.

“It is a small but very hardworking charity and as I see poorly children every day it really struck a chord with me.

“Then I thought it would be helpful if I could raise more awareness for them by trying to break some kind of world record at the same time.

“I am Sri Lankan by birth and the sari is our traditional dress, so Anchala suggested I run in one.

“I contacted Guinness World Records and found out what I would need to do and they said to go for it.

“Since then my mother has adapted a sari that enables me to run and also incorporates my marathon vest – and now it’s just a case of running 26 miles in it!”

A sari is a garment consisting of a length of cotton or silk elaborately draped around the body, traditionally worn by women from South Asia.

To break the Guinness World Record, Dr Ulakanathan must run the marathon, in his sari, in under five hours.

He said: “I’m not a regular runner so I’ve been training hard.

“My friends and family have also been very generous, and I am about halfway to my fundraising target .

“I’m also hoping the crowds will see my sari and get behind me on the day. Running for such a worthy charity will inspire me, but I think I will need all the encouragement I can get.”

Round Table Children’s Wish grants wishes that are handcrafted to the individual child.

Popular wishes include family holidays and trips to theme parks, meeting a favourite celebrity, and special toys.

Samantha Read from Round Table Children’s Wish said: “We were thrilled when Suthan agreed to run the London Marathon for us and even happier when we
found out he would be trying to break a record too.

“He is one of a number of generous people running for us on the day and we are sure his outfit will garner him lots of support from the crowds.”

Dr Ulakanathan would welcome donations to his justgiving page at: justgiving.com/suthanu

Release ends.

Release sender: Deep South Media.

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