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Marathon runner hopes to squeeze into the record books

PUBLISHED: 08:01 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:18 19 February 2020

 Carmine De Grandis is planning to get in the Guinness book of records by doing the Mammoth Marathon playing an accordion and raising money for dementia. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Carmine De Grandis is planning to get in the Guinness book of records by doing the Mammoth Marathon playing an accordion and raising money for dementia. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Archant

If just the thought of running a marathon leaves you gasping for air, spare a thought for Carmine De Grandis.

Carmine De Grandis is planning to get in the Guinness book of records by doing the Mammoth Marathon playing an accordion and raising money for dementia. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANCarmine De Grandis is planning to get in the Guinness book of records by doing the Mammoth Marathon playing an accordion and raising money for dementia. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The 49-year-old, who is taking on this year's Mammoth Marathon, will not only have to think about pumping air into his lungs, but also into the device he plans to carry.

Mr De Grandis is planning to take on the race playing the accordion all the way.

"I grew up in the Abruzzo region in Italy," said the dad-of-three. "I started playing the accordion when I was a child - it was quite traditional in that area.

"I'm a seasoned runner, and a couple of years ago I had the idea of doing these things together.

Runners taking part in a North Norfolk Beach Runners event in front of Cromer Pier. The running group is in partnership with North Norfolk District Council on planning the Mammoth Marathon. Picture: MARK BULLIMORERunners taking part in a North Norfolk Beach Runners event in front of Cromer Pier. The running group is in partnership with North Norfolk District Council on planning the Mammoth Marathon. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

"It started as a bit of a joke. I run with my local club, they found it quite entertaining and enjoyed it.

"This marathon seemed like the perfect opportunity."

The May 17 run from Sea Palling to Sheringham will be Norfolk's first full road race since the Norfolk Marathon ended in 1990.

More than 400 people will take part in the 26.2-mile race, with more than 600 more to run a half marathon on the same day, starting from Mundesley.

Happisburgh Lighthouse. The Mammoth Marathon will go past the iconic north Norfolk structure. Picture: Dale ButtolphHappisburgh Lighthouse. The Mammoth Marathon will go past the iconic north Norfolk structure. Picture: Dale Buttolph

Mr De Grandis said he hoped to undertake the challenge as an official Guinness World Record attempt, but was waiting for approval from Guinness.

He is now on the search for a larger accordion.

Mr De Grandis said: "The accordion I've got now is quite heavy, but also quite small. I'm looking to see if I can get a bigger one, which would let me play a bigger range of tunes.

"I don't want to get bored when I'm going along. It's not going to be a speed record."

 Carmine De Grandis is planning to get in the Guinness book of records by doing the Mammoth Marathon playing an accordion and raising money for dementia. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN
Carmine De Grandis is planning to get in the Guinness book of records by doing the Mammoth Marathon playing an accordion and raising money for dementia. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

He is no stranger to endurance running, having taken part in his first marathon - the London Marathon - in 1990.

He since developed a passion for off-road and mountain running and has done around 100 marathons and ultra-marathons.

North Norfolk District Council is putting on the marathon for the first time this year, in partnership with the North Norfolk Beach Runners.

The event's name plays on the region's prehistoric heritage, which was once a stomping ground for species including the southern mammoth.

The Mammoth Marathon route will go from Sea Palling to Sheringham. Picture: NNDCThe Mammoth Marathon route will go from Sea Palling to Sheringham. Picture: NNDC

The course will take in some of the district's most iconic sights including Happisburgh Lighthouse, Walcott beach front and Cromer town centre.


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