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Marathon man - by John Brown

By Cheadle Post and Times  |  Posted: January 11, 2014

John Brown

John Brown

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TURNING 60 can herald a life changing experience, and for some bring with it a winding down process, but for avid runner John Brown it has set another challenge.

John is probably best known in Cheadle for his connections with local football, having been involved at all levels, first as a player and then committee member for over forty years with the senior Saturday side.

However, he has always maintained a love for long distance running and marathons in particular.

In 2012 he did his "usual" three marathons, Llanelli, Edinburgh and Chester; to give it , as he describes, "a Wales, Scotland and England flavour".

When he turned 60 in December 2012 the gauntlet was thrown and he decided he wanted to do something special, and six marathons at 60 sounded just fine.

He said: "Hitting the front page of The Sentinel on Monday, June 10, dressed as a Knight Crusader in the Potters 'Arf certainly spurred me on.

"I had already completed the Brighton marathon in April and London marathon the following week, which had boosted my confidence, so actually making my statement known to others made the position a must do.

"Shewsbury announced their first ever marathon, which I completed on June 23; it was a course of four laps and the laps were extended to give the correct distance with a series of lanes you had to run up and down, backwards and forwards to everyone's' great dismay.

"It was a race that will not be repeated. It will only be a one lap half marathon next year.

"The Great Langdale marathon came next on September 21,this wonderful scenic route near Ambleside in the Lake District was a two lap gem.I met one of the legends of distant running, the great Ron Hill, who as President of the race jogged the first few yards chatting to me, before joining the spectators.

"The Certificate of Achievement and a trophy in the form of a running shoe in silver and gold colours made a pleasant change from the usual medal.

"The penultimate marathon, number five, was the challenging Snowdonia Marathon on October 26; few runners dressed up for this one, so I gave the local spectators something to cheer at when they saw a crusader running past, putting the Welsh dragons to the sword.

"I was able to see the end of my race, and record it, for it was shown live on Welsh TV and repeated a week later.

"Looking at the November calendar I was fearing that I may not find a sixth marathon to run, my wife Angela, family and friends suggested that I make up my own marathon and as a member of Cheadle Running Club I was delighted that they also wanted to get involved.

"On Sunday, November 24, the Master Potter Marathon was completed, just under two weeks before I was 61. There was no medal at the end, just the wonderful sense of achievement, with sponsorship money raised for The Douglas Macmillan Hospice still coming in via the Master Potter Pub."

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