A pensioner from Biggleswade will take part in his twelfth London Marathon in just over two weeks time.
Wally Fairweather, 79, is running to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, after his wife Lily passed away after suffering with the disease in August 2013.
I have always wanted to do a marathon when I was 80 and I reach that age the week after so I can officially say this is my last one, although I have said that before!Wally Fairweather
Wally had always wanted to take part in a marathon when he was 80 and he will reach the milestone just a week after this year’s event.
He said: “I haven’t run a marathon for six or seven years so I have been training hard for this one.
“I have always wanted to do one when I was 80 and I reach that age the week after so I can officially say this is my last one, although I have said that before!”
Wally has always been a keen runner ever since he started when he was in the Rifle Brigade in the army between 1953 and 1955.
When he left the army he didn’t continue his running though as his career and family life became a priority.
It was his son, Trevor in 1983 who got him back into the sport, as they both ran their first ever London Marathon together.
He said: “Since competing in that first marathon I have loved every second of my running.
“I love being outdoors and have done the Great North Run on many occasions as well.”
Wally has a vast array of medals for taking part in a wide range of running events and he is still going strong despite being on the verge of his ninth decade.
Wally used to live in London where he worked first as a piano carpenter before becoming a postman for 32 years and retiring in 1992.
The day after he retired he moved to Biggleswade and said it was the best decision he has made.
“It is great here, I am such a countryside person and I just go down the road and I can run for miles.
“I couldn’t do that in London! I could feel the fumes in the air.”
Wally is sticking to a strict training programme in order to be ready for the big event and told me he had been for a short run before I arrived!
I asked him how long and he said just the nine miles! He wasn’t even slightly tired.
Wally attributes a lot of his fitness to the fact he has given blood over 400 times which he is convinced keeps his body in fine fettle.
If you wish to help Wally raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer you can visit his Just Giving page at www.tinyurl.com/WallysMarathon
This year’s London Marathon takes place on Sunday, April 26 with Paula Radcliffe competing in her final event.
As always the event will be broadcast on the BBC.