You might see this bear running around the streets of Flamborough

Bernard the bear
Bernard the bear

If you spot a bear on the loose in Flamborough this winter, don’t panic.

It will be Bernard the Bear, the mascot of Great Ormond Street Hospital, and inside the costume will be Tom Waines, who is in training for next year’s London Marathon.

Unmasked! Tom Waines is the man inside the costume.

Unmasked! Tom Waines is the man inside the costume.

His nephew Henry has been cared for at the country’s leading children’s hospital in London for almost a year and Tom hopes to raise thousands of pounds as his way of saying thank you.

He said: “2018 saw me complete my first ever marathon in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital. I swore it would be my last.Apparently, this year’s London Marathon wasn’t hard enough and I’ve been given the opportunity to run the 2019 marathon in fancy dress - Bernard The Bear.

“It’s a thick heavy one piece suit, has four-fingered gloves not five, and a massive foam head, giving minimum visibility and maximum warmth.”

Henry has had a number of operations, but the family hope he will be well enough to return home to Bridlington before Easter. His battling spirit has inspired Tom to pull on his running shoes again.

Tom said: “The extra effort in training and pain required to run a marathon wearing what is in essence a woolly sleeping bag is not to be sniffed at.

“Most evenings through the winter I’ll be out running, in the dark, damp, British winter after a full day at work. Weekends I’m going to try do one long run in the suit - weather dependant.

“With any luck, come April I’ll have completed between 300 and 400 miles of training.”