04/27/2013 10:59 am ET Updated Apr 27, 2013

London Marathon Rhino Runners Wear 22-Pound Suits During Race To Save The Species (PHOTOS)

Joshua Dunlop/Save The Rhino

It's hard enough running a marathon's 26.2 miles, but going the whole way in a 22-pound rhino costume is another beast entirely.

But that's just what 15 competitors running for Save The Rhino did last Sunday in an effort to raise awareness and money for the charity. The fastest runner clocked in at just under 5 hours.

The suits have become a symbol for the organization and were first introduced in 1992 at the London and New York marathons. They've since been to Paris, Dublin, Boston and the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Rhinos have been having a tough time lately -- some 633 were killed in South Africa alone last year. Their horns are considered a cure-all medicine in some Asian countries and there's still a demand for hunting trophies.

Radical measures have been deployed in an effort to stop poaching, including the use of drones and a new system to dye the horns bright pink.

(h/t reddit)

London Marathon Rhino Runners