Veteran runner George prepares for another challenge

George Parker

George Parker

First published in News by

A GRANDFATHER who has run in about 100 events over the last 25 years is pulling on his trainers again for the Great North Run.

George Parker, 77, from Porton, took to running after he quit football 35 years ago – and hasn’t stopped since.

He said: “I started running seriously when I was offered a place in the London Marathon when I was 50 and it went from there.”

Over the years he has covered hundreds of miles and raised thousands of pounds for charity.

His next trip out is the Bupa Great North Run in Newcastle on September 7, when he’ll be raising money for Bowel & Cancer Research.

Mr Parker said: “Not bad for an old stager...”

He added: “I’ve done the London Marathon eight times – the last one when I was 68 and I finished in 4hrs 48 minutes. But apart from that, I’ve never kept count.

“If I can do it and raise some money for charity, why not? It’s a bit tougher than it used to be but quite do-able, so I’ll carry on.”

Mr Parker says it’s the car journeys he finds most taxing.

“It’s 350 miles each way to the Great North Run – that’s harder than doing the race,” he said.

He trains by doing a six-mile run four times most weeks near his home, which he shares with his wife Mary, 76.

Other than that, he has no special fitness regime and no special diet, apart from an extra spoonful of pasta before a half-marathon.

The couple have two daughters, Janice and Judith. Judith sometimes runs with her dad. “My grandchildren are pretty good runners too,” he said.

Mr Parker was an Olympic Torch bearer, taking it through Barford St Martin in 2012.

He was brought up in Woodford and as a young man he played football in the Salisbury and District League, and was a referee for Wiltshire County for 30 years, finally hanging up his whistle at the age of 73.

To support Mr Parker email his daughter at judithp164@yahoo.co.uk.

For more information on the charity go to bowelcancerresearch.org.

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