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“I wanted to take up the challenge before I get old!”

When Tom Harper took up running at the age of 72, he couldn’t have imagined the positive impact it would have on his life. This year his journey to Kielder Marathon will be one of his greatest challenges.
Tom, born in Middlesbrough in 1939 was diagnosed with diabetes many years ago and struggled to control the condition aged 72, decided to start walking around Albert Park parkrun, Middlesbrough. Tom tells us:
“I improved to walk/jog, and eventually to a PB of 25:30. Since I started doing parkrun I have reduced my insulin intake level 3 times and now have my diabetes under excellent control”
Tom’s wife of 56 years also took up parkrunning and Tom tells us, “does very well for a 74 year old” The former draughtsman and retired engineer set himself a further challenge after hearing many shared experiences from fellow parkrunners, and decided to take the plunge to run the London Marathon in 2015. Despite an IT band injury Tom crossed the finish line in 5:32, frustratingly just minutes outside of a Good For Age qualifying place for 2016.
Tom, Dad of 3 and Grandad of 5, decided to set himself a new target for 2016 and entered the Kielder Marathon, telling us: “I’ve heard it is a more challenging run and I want to take the challenge before I get old!”
Tom has entered the race through his club Billingham Marsh House Harriers where he said he has met great friends and fellow athletes.   Good luck Tom on your Kielder Marathon from all of us at Events of the North. We think you’re a true inspiration!


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