A NORTH Yorkshire man is hoping to smash his own world record this weekend – for the fastest marathon dressed as a three-dimensional plant.

Owen Willis, 50, will be in York on Sunday for the Yorkshire Marathon, in aid of the Royal British Legion, dressed as a five-foot-wide poppy.

He wore the handmade outfit in London last April when he set his first record at just under five hours, and sealed a place in the current edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, alongside Mr Potato Head.

To support Owen, a father-of-three from Scarborough, visit https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/BigPoppyMarathon or text RBLP66 £10 to 70070.

Owen, a technical officer for the White Rose Home Improvement Agency in Ryedale and Scarborough, knows first-hand the benefits of his fundraising, as some of the money raised will fund adaptations to help disabled people and military veterans to live in their own homes.

Owen, who will be supported by wife Dolly and running partner Mike Hyde this Sunday, said: “I ran the hottest London marathon ever dressed as a five-foot diameter poppy and now I’m about to do York in high winds! The weather will present its own unique challenges, but I’m looking forward to breaking my own record with a bit of luck.”

Owen has set a fundraising target of £5000 with the money to be split between two armed forces charities, the Royal British Legion and SSAFA. He’s been a member of the Scarborough Athletic Club for the past eight years and has been training hard for the last six weeks since recovering from a knee injury.

Owen, who comes from Malton originally and attended Malton School, made his costume using plastic heating pipework before covering it with red gabardine cloth.

Owen’s great uncle, Digby Duggleby, died at the age of 27 and his name is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres in Belgium.

Simon O’Leary, assistant director of fundraising at the Royal British Legion, said: “We’re delighted that Owen has decided to get back into his five-foot-wide poppy outfit to raise money for the Legion and we wish him every success in beating his own impressive record.”