OCTOGENARIAN Jim Conaghan has run all over the world – but his hometown Tees Pride 10k remains his favourite race.
Sadly however an eye operation means the 80-year- old won’t be joining thousands of other runners and walkers on the start line of this year’s event on Sunday, September 4.
His race number won’t go to waste though – it will be proudly sported by running partner and relative youngster at just 76 Phil Miles.
Jim only started running aged 46, but made up for lost time with 11 London Marathons and hundreds of races across the UK and as far afield as Switzerland, Spain and Cyprus to his name.
He now runs in ‘only’ about 15 races a year and had his heart set on this year’s Taylor Wimpey Tees Pride 10k only for an eye operation to scupper his plans.
Jim, who is a member of New Marske Harriers, is therefore handing his race number to good friend Phil Miles who he joined for a training session at the weekend.
Jim said: “I’m absolutely devastated to be missing out on this year’s Tees Pride 10k – I think I have done them all but one and that was due to an injury.
“If it wasn’t for my eye operation I’d run it, it is such a brilliant race and the atmosphere is incredible.”
And for those who aren’t taking part or wondering whether they should enter Jim has a few words of encouragement: “Just enter, you will love it – it doesn’t matter if you walk it, just make a start.
“Quite apart from the fitness it brings, I have met so many happy and friendly people through running and it has given me a wonderful social life.”
There’s still time to get those last minute entries in for the Taylor Wimpey Tees Pride 10k and SABIC 3k Fun Run, with the deadline extended to midnight on Wednesday, August 31.
Councillor Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “Age really is no barrier where the Tees Pride 10k is concerned, and both Jim and Phil are shining examples of the lifetime’s pleasure running can bring.
“It’s a pity Jim is missing out this year, but I’m sure we’ll be welcoming him back at future events.
“The deadline’s not far off now, so I hope as many people as possible will sign up for what promises to be a truly memorable day.”
Participants are reminded that no entries will be taken on the day for either the Taylor Wimpey Tees Pride 10k or the SABIC 3k Fun Run.
For full details and entry information on the 2016 Taylor Wimpey Tees Price 10k and SABIC 3k Fun Run on Sunday, September 4 visit www.runmiddlesbrough.com, drop in to any of Middlesbrough’s Everyone Active sport and leisure venues or call 01642 200833.
Entries close at midnight on Wednesday, August 31.