FORGET the Grand National, a colourful, galloping bunch smashed a world record at Aintree racecourse.

Some 42 pantomime animals took part in a charity race, with the contenders ranging from zebras, horses, bulls, camels and reindeers.

Among the competitors at the starting block were 18 BT employees who work at the firm’s Middlebrook office in Horwich.

A Guinness World Record representative was at the race to confirm it smashed the previous record of 37 “runners”.

Andrew Thompson, aged 32, from Lostock, and Wayne Lythgoe, aged 29, from Leigh, dressed as Viewsonic the Camel, came second.

Mr Thompson, a senior accounts executive, was at the front of the camel, and Mr Lythgoe, a sales accounts executive at the rear.

They agreed to donate their £100 prize for finishing first out of the BT employees to Cancer Research UK, with .

Mr Thompson said: “It was hot, sweaty and quite difficult to see where we were going. The other handicap was that the back legs were quicker than the front legs.

“We could have won really but we had a bit of a stumble near the end. We had a great time.”

The organisers of the Aintree Day, Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services, will be presented with the world record certificate.

Mr Lythgoe said: “Not many people can say that they have been involved in a Guinness World Record.

“It’s a little extra string to your bow and it was great that we could donate to charity in the process.”

Teams from around Liverpool, including Everton FC and Mersey Fire Brigade, joined the BT contestants, and they were watched by a good crowd, despite wet weather.

Mr Thompson said: “It was quite nerve-wracking actually at the start, with the people watching you.

“Racing on the famous Aintree course and going past the winning post was really strange, but it was great to see all the things you recognise from TV.”

The key to the success of Viewsonic the Camel was a good start, according to Mr Lythgoe.

“Everyone was falling over each other as it was really crowded, and one of the other contestants actually broke a rib,” he said.

“Key for us was getting away quickly and leaving some of the mayhem behind us.”

The pair’s exploits will also feature in a television show in the new year, Officially Amazing, which will be screened on CBBC.