Competing in a panda costume was my Great South Run highlight...

The super heroes run for charity at The Great South Run in 2005, (left to right back), Craig Lawson, Richard Bicheno, Michael Bicheno, Alan Bicheno, Charlotte Abrams, Jane Carpenter, Emma Hine, and lying horizontally, Heather Pattison.
The super heroes run for charity at The Great South Run in 2005, (left to right back), Craig Lawson, Richard Bicheno, Michael Bicheno, Alan Bicheno, Charlotte Abrams, Jane Carpenter, Emma Hine, and lying horizontally, Heather Pattison.

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RUNNING in fancy dress made the gruelling Great South Run even more memorable for one racer.

Emma Hine has taken part in six of the 10-mile challenges, each time in a different costume.

From superheroes to giant panda costumes, she is always coming up with great ideas.

But her inspiration for running her first Great South Run in 2005 was her son Lewis.

The 12-year-old was diagnoses with having water on the brain aged 17 months. Since then, he has had numerous operations.

Emma said: ‘I started running the Great South Run to raise money for a charity that has helped our family.

‘Lewis was diagnosed with having water on the brain and by the time he was three, he had already undergone three life-saving operations.

‘Since the first one, we have raised around £6,000 for charity.’

Out of the six races she has completed in fancy dress, the one that stands out for Emma is their Kung Fu Panda theme.

Emma, of West Leigh, in Havant, and friends dressed in costumes from the film and the 37-year-old ended up as the panda.

She added: ‘The panda was probably the hardest costume I ran in. We chose that theme for the 2010 race and I had this massive costume on so it was hard. Other fun runners thought I was a man because they kept slapping me on the head saying well done or keep going.

‘What they didn’t know was that the head was quite heavy and the slapping made it bit more difficult.’

In the first race, which was superhero-themed, Emma dressed as Batwoman but she said the costume was uncomfortable.

‘It was a reasonably warm day and I was dressed in black and some of the costume was leather,’ she said.

‘So, not only was it difficult because it was my first Great South Run, but I had a really uncomfortable costume on.’

But despite the odd costumes, Emma has achieved some good times.

Her best was 1hr 24mins and her worst, dressed as the panda, was 2hrs 20mins.

*If you, like Emma, have run the Great South Run for loved ones, to raise money for charity or in crazy costumes, we want to know.

From best times to the worst weather, we want to hear about it.

You can email us at newsdesk@thenews.co.uk or post your stories and pictures on our Great South Run Facebook page at facebook.com/gsrmemories