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Meet Bill, he's in training for three marathons - at the age of 74
BILL Kennedy is in training for not one, not two but three marathons – at the age of 74.
The ex-army officer, who also chairs the board of trustees of Age UK in Bournemouth, intends to take part in the Rome marathon tomorrow, as well as the London and Bournemouth races.
Bill has run 16 marathons since taking up the hobby later in life than most people.
Bill said: “Ever since I was in the army, I was very fit but I was never a runner. I started that when I was 48 because I was in a terrible physical state so I stopped smoking and had to get rid of the weight.
“I stopped over-night, started jogging and thought, ‘Crikey, why not do a marathon before I’m 50?’ and that was the end of that.”
Having initially hung up his running shoes 10 years ago and suffering problems with his toes, Bill said: “Training is okay, but I am 74 so recovery time is a bit slower than it used to be.”
Bill trains through his local area of Wimborne everyday with five, seven, 12 and 16-mile stints all the way up to Ringwood.
“Rome is going to be fantastic because you start at the Coliseum and you pass all the main tourist sites, past the Vatican, Spanish Steps and then back round to the Coliseum,” he said.
Up next will be the London marathon in April, which he has already run six times, and where he achieved his personal best of 2:59 in 1991. Bournemouth will be hosting its first ever full marathon on October 6.
“I am probably more nervous about it than Rome!” said Bill, “Mainly because a lot of the running is on the concrete promenade and concrete is harder on the body.”
“It will be quite interesting too because the route will take us on to the pier, around and back again.”
Bill has been the chairman of the board of trustees of Age UK, previously age UK, in Bournemouth for six years.
“Twenty per cent of the age in Bournemouth is over 60 which is a hell of a percentage,” he said.
“There are a lot of people not looked after, that are lonely and beginning to develop dementia so we provide services for all of those people.”
Please visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BillKennedy1 to donate to this very wondeful cause.