MARATHON man Brendan Rendall is to complete a gruelling 1,204 mile (1,937 km) running challenge in aid of Chester Zoo.

The 41-year-old began the task 55 days ago, running a half marathon every day in June and a full marathon every day in July, all in animal-themed fancy dress.

His costumes have included inflatable rhino and penguin suits, and a two-metre tall giraffe ensemble.

Chester and District Standard:

Brendan Rendall in his giraffe costume

Brendan has been taking on the exhausting challenge to raise vital funds for Chester Zoo’s Save Our Zoo campaign after the coronavirus crisis, where a three-month period of forced closure has put the UK’s largest charity zoo at risk of extinction with a huge £5m hole in its finances.

Now, Brendan is calling for one last fundraising push and other runners to join him for parts of final leg of his run from Salford Quays to Chester on Monday (August 3). Volunteers already include zoo staff.

Chester and District Standard:

Brendan aims to finish the challenge on Monday, August 3

Brendan said: “I have been working with children and adults with special educational needs for 10 years and have visited Chester Zoo many, many times. It’s a very special and inspiring place and one that plays a vital role in wildlife conservation.

“When I heard about the zoo’s plight due to the coronavirus pandemic and saw it had launched its urgent Save Our Zoo campaign, I had to do something to help.

"That’s when I decided to test myself and take on this fancy dress running challenge. With the year we’re all experiencing so far, I just wanted to do something fun, make people laugh, smile and inspire them to donate.”

While taking on the challenge so far, Brendan has battled soaring temperatures of over 30C, storms and torrential downpours.

His efforts have taken their toll on his body, including blisters and Lycra chafing.

Chester and District Standard:

Brendan Rendall began his running challenge 55 days ago

Dr Mark Pilgrim, CEO at Chester Zoo, is one of those who will be accompanying Brendan on his last mile.

He said: “Although the zoo is now reopen, which is simply vital to our future survival, there’s still a long way to go before we’re fully back on track.

"Our closure due to the pandemic has left a huge £5.5m scar and so we can’t get away from the fact that there will be some very challenging times ahead.

"That’s why we’re so incredibly grateful to our wonderful supporters, like Brendan, who continue to fundraise for us – taking on all manner of whacky, gruelling and remarkable challenges.

"We’re truly overwhelmed by the kindness that’s being shown to us when times are hard for everyone, not just us. It's absolutely crucial to us, and it’s helping to ensure that this great charity zoo has a future.”

Chester and District Standard: