Tim Butler is a joggler. What on earth? … we hear you say. Tim is a tiger champion, that’s what and read on to see why…..
Tim Butler is on a mission to run 100 marathons whilst juggling to raise awareness and funds for wild tigers. So far he has donated over £600 to WildCats. We recently interviewed Tim to find out more about the man behind the mask.
- You obviously love running and juggling? Which came first?
I’ve been juggling for far too long to remember, but only started running properly when I turned 40. Shortly afterwards I came across a website about someone who ran and juggled together (a chap called Perry from Chicago). I thought it sounded intriguing so gave it a go and soon got hooked. I even met Perry a few years later in London before the London marathon and we got to joggle around Hyde park together, which was good fun and confused a lot of people passing by.
- Are there other jogglers?
It’s getting more popular and I know of about 8 in the UK. In America they hold a world championship every year with lots of different events, including 5 ball and 7 ball 100m races, which is far too complicated and skilful for me.
- What is the most challenging/your favourite Marathon you’ve taken part in?
I like going to the hills, so have done Halifax and Huddersfield marathons which are quite challenging but the views are wonderful. The most difficult was probably a 70 – mile ultramarathon I did several years ago – I finished after about 19 hours and I had bruises on the back of my hands from all the juggling.
- Why tigers?
I’ve always been an animal lover and have previously fund raised for the RSPCA and local animal hospitals and charities. Someone bought me a Tiger adoption one year and it just went from there. Having a name like Tim is also useful as we share the same first two letters.
- You first started fundraising for 21st Century Tiger (before we became WildCats Conservation Alliance). How did you first hear about 21st Century Tiger?
I came across it whilst looking for tiger charities, and was impressed with the ethos of the organisation which is to help Tigers in the wild (where they should be) by working towards protecting their environment and ensuing there are areas where tigers can still roam in relative safety.
- What do your friends think of your joggling?
I think they are all used to it by now, and doing the 100 – marathon challenge it is difficult to pester them for money for individual races (they all know I can joggle marathons so it’s not that out of the usual for them). I tend to get a lot of ad-hoc donations when I’m doing races, which is nice, because it’s always someone new who I’ve managed to chat to and sell the cause. I’m aiming to do a massive fund-raising exercise when I get to 99 and I’ve been promised lots of donations which will be nice. I’m over half way now (52) so it should start getting easier from now on!
- What is the weirdest/strangest/most difficult costume you’ve seen on another marathon runner?
I’ve been lucky enough to do the London marathon a couple of times which is always good for interesting outfits and costumes. At the moment I keep bumping into a chap called Chris who runs in a brilliant but enormous and elaborate Rhino suit for Save the Rhino. At one race we were both running side by side when a train came past and you could see the people staring through the windows in amazement.
- We love the headwear/hats you run in. Where do you get the idea from?
I’ve tried various costumes over the years. The original mask I wore was just like a Tiger but so so hot in the summer, and very difficult to see through, especially when trying to Juggle at the same time. I then went for a Mexican wrestling mask, there was a wrestler in the 80’s called Tiger Mask and it’s basically a copy of what he wore. Again, though this is very hot in the sun, so I’ve now gone for the cuddly tiger on the hat look, which is great unless it’s pouring down. He’s actually done about 20 marathons with me so far (I haven’t thought of a suitable name yet though). The running shirts are custom made – I’m on the 3rd incarnation now but will probably tweak it a bit more in the future.
- How can people sponsor you?
I’m on www.Justgiving.com/timstigers which also has some pictures and race reports in.
We’ve plenty of fun ideas for fundraising for wild tigers and Amur leopards in our fundraising guide.