Can Frank grab a Guinness record?

Frank Gilroy has raised thousands as Harvey.
Frank Gilroy has raised thousands as Harvey.

He has run more than 100 miles over the past four years, breaking many world records on the way.

Now Harvey the Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice’s mascot is hanging up his running shoes, but not before making a bid to claim one last title on home turf.

Sports physiotherapist Frank Gilroy, from Giffnock, who runs in Harvey, wants to claim the Guinness World Record for the fastest mascot in a half marathon at this year’s Great Scottish Run in Glasgow on October 2.

And he is asking as many people as possible to take part and run in Team Harvey, to help boost funds for the hospice’s Brick by Brick Appeal.

“This will be my last outing as Harvey, it’s time for him to retire,” says Frank of Bellahouston Harriers.

“The costume is on its last legs. He’s getting very fragile and needs a lot of TLC. I think it’s particularly apt that he bows out in Glasgow on home ground.”

With a group of 10 runners, calling themselves Cy-Run, the 52-year-old started raising money for the hospice’s capital appeal to build a new home in Bellahouston Park more than four years ago.

The idea was to raise £70,000 to fund two treatment rooms for patients, with one named after Frank’s late wife Kathleen.

The total went up to £115,000 and now they hope to raise a massive £125,000 for the hospice. Harvey might be retiring but Frank has no plans to stop fundraising for the hospice.

“I love doing challenges and running and wanted to do something for a Glasgow charity that didn’t discriminate and was there for everyone,” explains Frank.

At this year’s London Marathon he reclaimed the Guinness World Record for the fastest time in a charity mascot running as heart-shaped Harvey.

Now he wants to win the title for the fastest time in a half marathon back from his old adversary, Bobby the Bee from the Highland Hospice, Inverness.

“Bobby isn’t racing in Glasgow but Harvey is going to take the record from him,” says Frank confidently. Harvey is going to bring the record home to Glasgow. It would be great to win this record the same year as the London Marathon.”

With Cy-Run, Frank has cycled from Glasgow to London, before going on to run the London Marathon as Harvey.

“I’ll never forget walking into ExCel London with 10 guys, it was like a John Wayne film with 10 bikes instead of horses. I remember turning round and looking at these guys and they were getting taller and taller and prouder and prouder,” says Frank.

“Someone said: ‘Where have you been?’ and I said, ‘We’ve just cycled from Glasgow.’”

To join Team Harvey, first register with Great Scottish Run at www.greatscottishrun.com/events/ and then email caroline.m.watson@ppwh.org.uk to receive a sponsorship form and vest.