28th Oct, 2016

Marathon grandad not planning on slowing down

Leamington Editorial 7th Apr, 2015 Updated: 3 hours ago

SLOWING down is not an option for one Claverdon grandad, who is set to run his 450th marathon.

David Phillips knows the route for the London Marathon by heart after running it for the last 15 years in aid of the Brain and Spine Foundation.

The 69-year-old runs as many marathons as he can, and is trying to reach his personal goal of completing 500 of the gruelling runs and raising £100,000 for the charity.

Chartered accountant David told the Observer: “It seems ages ago I started my quest – too long ago to remember. Since then I’ve raised £78,000 in London marathons and the goal is still that elusive £100,000.”

But the decision to sign up again was not an easy one for the 71-year-old – as the London and Stratford marathons fall on the same day this year.

He said: “I missed the first Stratford marathon in 1981 and have done them all since – even the one that was recently cancelled because of the weather. I came first and last in that one.

“London fixed their date as Sunday April 26 – the same day as Stratford’s, and coinciding with the Shakespeare Birthday week celebrations.

“I’m devastated but with the fund-raising for the Brain and Spine Foundation and the fact I’m heading the team leaves me with little option but to run in London.”

David’s long relationship with running began in 1982 when he made a bet to run the Coventry marathon.

Five years later he signed up to the Massey Ferguson running club, which he previously captained and is still a member of.

Since then his hobby has taken him all over the world from running through the pyramids in Egypt to New York.

And David – who is an accountant with Phillips and Becker Ltd – has no plans to retire yet either.

He said: “We are the busiest since I started 40 years ago in 1975. There is about as much chance of me retiring as I have of quitting running and fundraising.”

Visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/TeamPhillips2015 to donate.