High Peak musicians are in training to break a world record next year, by becoming the fastest marching band to complete a marathon.
Tim Hewitt, his wife Sarah and his brother-in-law Andrew Pimblett, of Buxton, Emma Thurlby, of Tideswell, and Ian Drayton, of Sparrowpit, will be playing their instruments while attempting the London 26-mile race in April as part of the 24-piece Huddersfield Marathon Band.
Performing brass band favourites such as the Great Escape, the Final Countdown and the rather apt Keep on Running, the players hope to raise £60,000 for deaf blind charity Sense. The band hope to average a 16-minute mile, while playing a two-hour repertoire on loop, in order to beat the current record of 7h 22m 55s and regain the world title they set in 2011 (7h 55m).
“It’s going to be a bit faster than Buxton Carnival,” quipped Tim, who used to play for Fairfield Band. “The current record was set by a German band last year and they raised £30,000 for charity, so we’re hoping to beat their time and double their total!”
The ensemble, aged between 18 and 60, is made up of Huddersfield University students, alumni and friends and features cornets, drums, trombones, tenor horns, trumpets and euphoniums.
Not one to blow his own trumpet, Tim said: “It’s going to be quite a task. As we all play for different bands, we’re all training separately. I’m going on lots of long and extremely fast walks, and in the New Year we’re going to start carrying and blowing our instruments and maybe do a half marathon.
“I was quite blasé at first but a seven-hour concert would be insane! I think there will be a lot of red faces. It’s quite unnatural walking that far, never mind playing for that long. It’s ridiculous when you think about it, but fantastic.”
To sponsor the band, who performed in Buxton on Saturday, visit justgiving.com/HMB2014.