HE may have a bad name in the world of films, but this Joker is hoping to raise a few smiles and cheers as he takes on the Great South Run.
Dedicated dad Aaron Dubber is running the 10-mile race in Southsea on Sunday dressed as the baddie from the Batman films, to not only raise cash for the British Heart Foundation, but to restore the public’s faith in clowns.
The 32-year-old, from Forestside Avenue, in West Leigh, has been out practising in his costume – and says he was even asked to stop by police during the height of the ‘killer clown’ fad.
Aaron said: ‘The “killer clown” craze has set me back, as I’ve been out fundraising in my suit but some police officers spoke to me and they asked me not to go out in it in case I scared people.
‘I’m a really big Marvel fan, and I like The Joker as although he’s crazy, he is dedicated, and that just seems to fit with my personality.’
Aaron, who has three children and is stepdad to three more, picked the British Heart Foundation after a member of his fiancee’s family was affected by a heart condition, as was his great-grandfather.
Aaron’s fiancee Erika Hoepfner, 32, who is 28 weeks pregnant, will be cheering him on from the sidelines, despite ‘thinking he’s crazy’, he said.
Aaron hopes to complete the race in under 1hr 30min, despite it being his first time competing in the world’s top 10-mile run.
He was inspired to take part in the race as his brother competed last year, and sibling rivalry means he wants to beat his time.
Aaron said: ‘I’ve been out practising every morning, I’m quite fit as I wanted to be a football player.
‘I’d really like to beat my brother’s time but I don’t think I’ll be able to do that as I know how unfit I am compared to him.
‘Whatever time I get, at least I’ll be doing something good running as The Joker.
‘I’ll be raising money for a good cause and combating the current opinion of clowns.
‘All the kids I have met so far while I’m dressed as The Joker have been nervous as they think clowns are evil, but when they realise that’s just me and it’s just fun they leaving happy and smiling.’
Aaron will be joined by thousands of runners of all ages as the Great South Run returns for its 26th year on Sunday.
Four events will be staged across the weekend in Southsea, including tomorrow’s 5k race, plus junior and mini runs.
The Great South Run will be shown live on Channel 5 between 10am and midday on Sunday.
To make a donation to Aaron’s fundraising go to justgiving.com/fundraising/AaronDubber-TheJoker