Marathon man retires at 83

JPCT-29-11-11 S11480764a 83 year old Mr Roy Redford has completed 44 marathons but has decided to give it up.  GLEBELANDS PULBOROUGH HORSHAM.   West Sussex. Roy, with all his medals, has taken off his running shoes for the last time -photo by steve cobb
JPCT-29-11-11 S11480764a 83 year old Mr Roy Redford has completed 44 marathons but has decided to give it up. GLEBELANDS PULBOROUGH HORSHAM. West Sussex. Roy, with all his medals, has taken off his running shoes for the last time -photo by steve cobb

AFTER 44 marathons and at the age of 83 a Pulborough man has decided to hang up his trainers and give his legs a rest.

Roy Redford, of Glebelands, started running marathons when he was 60, and after pounding out almost more than 1100 miles in total, he has decided to end his marathon exploits, saying he felt 83 was ‘a good age to stop’.

In addition to finishing 44 marathons, Roy has raised more than £190,000 for charity, including the motor neurone disease charity who he has run for 20 times.

He said: “About 20 years ago there was a girl who suffered from motor neurone disease in Newhurst. She wouldn’t talk to her friends or family but would talk to me.

“So I would talk to her about tennis and she had the most beautiful smile that would light up a whole room.

“When she died a couple of months later it hit me hard, and I decided to run from Salisbury to Winchester cathedral, almost 36 miles, the most I have run and this got me started running for the charity.”

Roy has run in the Rome, Berlin and London marathons, but his favourite is New York, which he has completed 14 times, as he ‘loves the city’.

The thing he told the County Times he finds addictive about doing them is the atmosphere and of course finishing.

He added that he used to complete the marathons in just over four hours, but it now takes him six to seven.

As part of his training he completes a hour run each morning.

Talking about what got him interested in running at a later age he said: “I worked in Cranleigh and needed some shoes. The girl in the shop suggested some trainers that were good for walking. But when I put them on I just wanted to run, and then couldn’t stop running after that and have been running ever since.”

His advice for anyone about to run a marathon is to start slow and build your speed up.

Although he feels it is the right time to stop he did admit he would ‘really miss running the marathons’.