Marathon runner hopes to squeeze into the record books
PUBLISHED: 08:01 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:18 19 February 2020
If just the thought of running a marathon leaves you gasping for air, spare a thought for Carmine De Grandis.
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.
"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.
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."
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 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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