They are, quite literally, a band on the run.
And for a group of students who have studied at the University of Huddersfield, there is just one aim.
They want their world record back!
The Huddersfield Marathon Band were the world’s fastest marching band when they completed the London Marathon in 2011 in a time of 7 hours and 55minutes. But they lost the record to a German band a year later, with the new record-holders cutting 22 minutes off the time.
Now the band, formed at the University, are aiming to recapture the record in London in April.
They warmed up by taking on the Oulton half marathon to test their strength before taking on the London marathon in April. The 31-strong band marched for 13.1 miles, while playing popular tunes like ‘Paint it Black’ and the ‘Final Countdown’ and crossed the finish line in just 3hours 31minutes.
It means they are back to reclaim their title, aiming to finish the London Marathon in just seven hours and raise over £60,000 for national deafblind charity Sense.
Mike Lomas, the 22-year-old band’s director, who hails from Stretford, said: “It was tough on the track – very windy and cold – but we’re thrilled to have finished in such good time and show that we have still got what it takes to claim the Guinness world record.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done to get ready for the marathon - we will be training extremely hard in the next few weeks, working on our pace and doing marching drills.”
The band are halfway through their fundraising target as they’ve managed to raise £30,000. They also enjoy the support of Huddersfield’s own Sir Patrick Stewart, who posted a photo with the band’s hat on twitter to declare his support to his one million followers.
The star is, of course, Chancellor at the Univesity of Huddersfield.
“We’re really grateful to everyone who has supported and sponsored us so far.
“We hope that as the big day approaches more people will help us raise money and awareness for Sense and the work they do with deafblind people,” cornet player, Mike, said.
When the band was put together Mike, who plays cornet, said they were “excited but nervous”.
Mike said: “No-one’s ever done it before. There’s one guy in America who’s done it but not a whole band.
“WE had about 40 pieces of music to play and we’re going for the record”.
To sponsor the Huddersfield Marathon Band, please visit: http://www.justgiving.com/HMB2014
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