Students and staff from Heriot-Watt University's School of Textiles and Design ran "Madonnas' Mile" up and down stairs in their High Mill building for Sport Relief on 19 March.
The event was inspired by Eddie Izzard's epic 40 marathons and given his penchant for dressing up, staff and students thought they could combine dressing up with fashion and doing a mile for Sport Relief. One of the technologists measured the stairs and calculated that they only needed to complete 27.7 laps of the three flights of stairs to complete a mile, and so the idea of getting 28 Madonnas to do one lap each was born. "After all, this School is all about fashion not fitness!", said Lisa MacIntyre, Lecturer and event organiser.
The call for Madonnas went out during a lecture on Tuesday with posters "Desperately seeking€¦28 Madonnas" going up on Wednesday. The event was a huge success and the Madonnas had so much fun that several more staff (including an eminent Professor of Colour) and students joined in on the day by borrowing key elements of Madonna costumes from the original participants.
Most of the Madonnas were inspired by her early 80s persona from her appearances in Holiday, Borderline and Lucky Star, but there were also several from the all-American cowgirl era, one in a leotard inspired by "Hung Up", an "off-duty" Madonna and, of course, a Gaultier Madonna.
The students and staff are still collecting donations but have already raised more than £800. They are aiming to raise £1000.