GALLERY: Veteran from the Fens who says running “saves me from doing the gardening” clocks up his 100th marathon
PUBLISHED: 13:40 12 May 2014 | UPDATED: 17:19 12 May 2014
A 75 year-old runner says he plans to take it easy for a while after completing his 100th marathon... and a little bit extra
Cheered on by his wife Jan and club colleague Frances Cooke, Pat Brown, a member of March AC Running Club, battled torrential rain and thick mud to finish the Ware cross country marathon in Hertfordshire.
Because the course was markedly out wrongly, Mr Brown ended up running 29 miles, which took him almost nine hours.
He has worked out that he reached the marathon mark in seven hours 55 minutes.
It was his seventh marathon in seven weeks, a remarkable feat which the retired plumbing and heating engineer says has left him exhausted.
He said: “Two days of torrential rain meant conditions were terrible. I was freezing and covered in mud. For the first time in my life I was sick during a race.
“Luckily my wife was there to give me hot drinks and bring me a change of clothes, and there was a woman who was older than me who kept me company on the course.
“I got a lot of encouragement from people and when I finished I was given a round of applause.
“I shall not be running another marathon for a long while because I’m just too tired. I’ll stick to five mile runs instead.”
Mr Brown says he enjoys marathon running “because you get a sense of achievement from it – and besides it saves me from doing the gardening”.
He took up running 35 years ago after retiring from playing football “although I didn’t actually retire I suppose; it was just teams stopped picking me”.
Throughout his running career he has run both in this country and abroad and to put his marathons into perspective it’s the equivalent of running Route 66 in America (a distance of some 2,451 miles).
He has done marathons in New York, Paris, Barcelona (22 times) and London (just the 21).
Two years ago he competed in a half marathon in Cyprus alongside 600 runners and finished in 3rd place in the over 70s category.
He said: “All my competitors had fallen by the wayside. I put my success down to fast living and alcohol.
“I like to think I’ve proven that if you want to do something age is no barrier.
“I would like to think the second 100 marathons will not be as hard as the first 100 as I seem to be getting the hang of it.”