Search

Derek James, 69, running London Marathon for Richard House hospice

06:00 19 February 2013

Mararthon man Derek James

Mararthon man Derek James

Richard House

A volunteer at east London’s children’s hospice who is almost 70 is preparing for his fifth and final London Marathon.

Derek James at 69 is still fit and young enough to tackle a gruelling 26-mile run through the streets to raise funds for Beckton’s Richard House Hospice.

The retired teacher from Silvertown, who turns 70 just five days before the April 21 ‘test of stamina’, felt so moved by the work of the hospice that he decided to run one final race to raise at least £1,800 for the charity.

“I was helping out at the pasta supper for last year’s runners and wished I was doing it again like I used to,” he recalled. “I wasn’t planning to run this year, but that was a turning point.

“Richard House is a worthy cause, so I’m running to raise money for them.”

He has been volunteering in the hospice gardens two days a week for the past five years, from general maintenance to installing the shell of a boat and putting up a beach hut for the children.

His first marathon was in 1985, when he was 27 years younger and probably 27 years fitter. His best finishing time one year was 3hrs 5mins. His last big run was six years ago when he was almost 64.

He expects this year to be his final race. The time needed for training nowadays has become “a big commitment”—six days a week, currently with the Barking Road Runners, giving himself just one day off.

Derek is one of 28 volunteers running for Richard House this year, who between them hope to raise £45,000.

The 33rd London Marathon in April takes Derek from Woolwich, across Tower Bridge, through Wapping and Limehouse, looping round the Isle of Dogs, then heading back through the City, along the Embankment, past the Houses of Parliament to finish in the Mall.

Wellwishers can sponsor Derek James online at: www.virginmoneygiving.com/mylastmarathon

0 comments

Latest Newham News Stories

Yesterday, 17:06
Two people were reported to be armed with weapons on West Road earlier this afternoon. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA images

Police were called to reports of a disturbance on West Road, Plaistow, involving two people armed with weapons.

Yesterday, 16:37
Flex founder Elliott Perry working out

What if you fancy taking part in a world-class fitness session but don’t want to leave your house?

YouTube
Yesterday, 13:47
Ernie Fenn, shortly before his 100th birthday, with St. Barnabas Church warden Monica Charlemagne

One of Manor Park’s most elderly residents, and the oldest member of St Barnabas’s congregation, has died.

London
Yesterday, 10:14
Youngsters try out wheelchair basketball

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park played host to an afternoon of inclusive sporting activities to mark the coming Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Elizabeth Olympic

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more
Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe