Aberdeen runner breaks marathon world record after tackling race in a kilt

An Aberdeen runner has smashed the world record for running a marathon in full Highland dress, despite almost falling to a broken sporran chain.

Stephen Molloy, 33, shaved 2 minutes 24 seconds off the previous best for the 26.2-mile distance at the rain-soaked Edinburgh Marathon Festival on Sunday, May 26.

And he would have been even faster had he not lost two minutes stopping at the roadside to repair his damaged kilt accessory around seven miles into the run.

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Stephen knew he had to stop running immediately to fix the garment to ensure he stayed within strict Guinness World Record conditions.

The former Aberdeen engineer, who now lives in Liberton, Edinburgh, raised more than £4,500 for the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation through his record-breaking effort, and finished in a time of 3:17:48 – inside the previous best of 3:20:12, achieved by Benjamin Denis Bilyard, from Canada, at the TCS Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 15, last year.

He must now wait for the record to be ratified by Guinness World Records before he will be the official world record holder.

He said: “I couldn’t be happier to – unofficially at this stage – break the Guinness World Record.

“I was a bit worried beforehand seeing the forecast, and I was right to be – the rain was torrential for the first hour, but it turned out to be a godsend for keeping me cool. That said, the added weight of the highly absorbent Doddie Weir tartan kilt was very noticeable once I was soaked through which made for a very uncomfortable run!

“My sporran chain broke around 7.5 miles meaning I had to stop for around two minutes at the side of the road to fix it. The Guinness World Record rules are strict in that all attire has to be firmly in place for the full duration of the run.

“Fortunately, I had a strong start, hitting halfway at 1 hour 30 minute which gave me a good buffer. In the end I needed most of it as I really started to struggle around 19 miles when the sun came out and I started to overheat.

“To run inside the time on home turf was just incredible, and the support on the course was unmatched. So many people had heard about what I was doing and cheered me on, especially coming back into Musselburgh when I really needed the added encouragement.

“Doddie’s memory kept me going at tough points, and I’m so proud of the result and the money raised for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. Thank you to everyone who has donated so far.”

Paul Thompson, Director of Fundraising at My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, said: “Stephen’s effort and resilience is nothing short of phenomenal, and we’re all massively proud of him at My Name’5 Doddie Foundation. A huge congratulations from all of us.

“The lengths our fundraisers go to to raise money and awareness for the Foundation and the MND cause never ceases to amaze us, and it all plays a major part in our continuing mission to bring an end to this devastating disease. We urge as many people as possible to join us in our fight until we can one day achieve Doddie’s legacy, a world free of MND.”

The donation page will remain open as Stephen’s friend Ewan, who used Sunday’s event as a practice run due to injury, will be going for the kilted half marathon record later this year at the Glasgow Half Marathon in October.

For more information or to make a donation, visit Stephen and Ewan’s Just Giving Page here.