‘RHINO Boy’ Chris Green completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks - while wearing a 13kg rhino suit - on one of the hottest days of the year, in under eight hours.

Chris, of Embsay, and his friend, Harry Strutt, reached the top of Penyghent in just 49 minutes, and completed all three - Penyghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, a distance of 24 and a half miles, in seven hours and 58 minutes - smashing the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge time of under 12 hours.

They also raised more than £500 for the charity Save the Rhino, with many walkers popping donations into the pot hanging from the suit’s rhino horn.

Chris, who ran a marathon, in the suit, just two days earlier, was also celebrating his birthday on Tuesday, as temperatures in the Dales hit 28 degrees.

He said: “When Harry and I began at 8:40am my trepidation had begun to rise like the already hot temperatures and the steep climb of Penyghent that lay ahead.

“An amazing 49 minutes later however we had already reached that first summit and although I was boiling from the rapid ascent I was also smiling from ear to ear that somehow I had negotiated that costume up through the upright rocks and sheer side to the top.”

By then, the adrenaline was pumping, and encouraging him on the way was a group of walkers at the top of Penyghent.

“Despite their initial shock and surprise at being joined by a ‘rhino’, the five or six walkers who were already gathered at the top greeted us clapping and with warm congratulations and it wasn’t long before some of them kindly began to fill the rhinos donation jar,” said Chris.

“It’s sometimes possible to get cynical about the human race. Being as concerned as I am regarding rhino conservation, hearing all too often of the tragic consequences of rhino poaching and the illegal trade in rhino horn it’s difficult not to get angry at times. On Monday however I got to see so much that is good and wonderful and surprising about people and what a birthday present that was.”

There is something, says Chris, magical in the reactions of people when faced with a rhino - even when they can see its a suit.

“In the transition from initial surprise and confusion to grinning wonder, the rhino seems brings out the kid in everyone,” he said.

“That bemused wonder I’m sure was exacerbated by the extreme temperatures and dramatic location. Literally no one could initially believe what was going on. I’m sure that stopping to engage in conversation after wonderful conversation actually really helped us Not only for the excuse to take a breath but also for the encouragement we received.”

Chris said he could not have done it without the help of Harry, whose bag containing litres of water was heavier than the 13k rhino suit, and for his help up the vertical climbs and slippery scree - not the best for a rhino.

“Harry and I were chuffed to bits with our time of seven hours, 58minuts, but we are even more happy that the fundraising is getting close to £500.

“With those sunny skies and endless views the scenery was nothing short of spectacular. Sure it was intensely hot but that warmth was also reflected in the goodwill and generosity we received throughout.”

Chris and Harry’s donation page, for Save the Rhino, is still open at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/rhino-boy-and-harry-climb-yorkshires-3-peaks