A South Ockendon man has run a marathon dressed as a dinosaur to raise money for a defibrillator at his children’s school.

Dad-of-two Chris Busby completed the 26-mile challenge in under six hours by running 100 laps of James Oglethorpe Primary School's field last Friday, February 11.

The 31-year-old maintenance engineer has so far raised more than £3,000 to pay for the installation of the life-saving device at the school, which he himself once attended, in Ashvale Gardens, Upminster.

Romford Recorder: Marathon man Chris Busby in his dinosaur costume with his children Eliza and JamesMarathon man Chris Busby in his dinosaur costume with his children Eliza and James (Image: Liberty PR)

The school held a sports day on Friday to allow the children to support Chris in his effort, which he completed in an eight-foot inflatable dinosaur costume - initially bought to entertain his children during lockdown.

While Chris said he has “always been quite active”, this was only the second time he had run a marathon and his first in the costume, which is kept inflated by a small internal fan.

“It was a struggle just trying to keep it inflated, there were a few stops just to duct tape the life out of it and change the batteries and all the rest of it,” he said.

It was not the first time the suit had caused him trouble, however.

While practicing on Hall Lane Playing Fields last week, he had a run in with a local cockapoo who “made a beeline for us and bit us just above where the dinosaur’s tail is and tore a great big hole in the back of it”.

Chris said the dog’s owner had been apologetic and, after hearing about Chris’ cause, revealed his son had a history of heart problems.

The man not only paid for a new costume, but also made a donation on top.

Hundreds of children die annually in UK schools as a result of sudden cardiac arrest, some of whom could have been saved by the use of a defibrillator, which detects irregular heart rhythms and uses electricity to shock them back into a normal rhythm.

“Statistics show that calling 999 and giving immediate CPR treatment and using a defibrillator can increase a person’s chances of survival from six per cent to 74 per cent, so it is a very important piece of medical kit,” Chris explained.

Donate at https://www.justgiving.com/jopspa