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Highgate Harriers star Low says 40th London Marathon could have been his last one

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 May 2020

London Marathon 'ever present' Roger Low, 76, from London, who has competed in every London Marathon since the event started in 1980.

London Marathon 'ever present' Roger Low, 76, from London, who has competed in every London Marathon since the event started in 1980.

PA Wire/PA Images

Camden marathon man Roger Low has admitted he intended to finish on 40 consecutive London Marathons at the weekend, but is now unsure on what is next for his running career.

The 10 Ever Presents who have run every London Marathon at Marathon House, London. (Left to right) Terry Macey, 71, from London, Ken Jones, 86, from Northern Ireland, Roger Low, 76, from London, Malcolm Speake, 78, from Ipswich, Jeff Aston, 72, from Cardiff, Chris Finill, 61, from Surrey, Mike Peace, 70, from Devon, Charles Cousens, 77, from Suffolk, David Walker, 74, from Buckinghamhshire, and Bill O'Connor, 74, from London.The 10 Ever Presents who have run every London Marathon at Marathon House, London. (Left to right) Terry Macey, 71, from London, Ken Jones, 86, from Northern Ireland, Roger Low, 76, from London, Malcolm Speake, 78, from Ipswich, Jeff Aston, 72, from Cardiff, Chris Finill, 61, from Surrey, Mike Peace, 70, from Devon, Charles Cousens, 77, from Suffolk, David Walker, 74, from Buckinghamhshire, and Bill O'Connor, 74, from London.

The 76-year-old, who has been a member of the Highgate Harriers for more than 30 years, was due to tackle the London Marathon on Sunday to continue his impressive record as an ever present, but the event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The experienced runner, who is just one of just 10 athletes in the country to boast the extraordinary achievement, will now continue his training for the expected new date in October.

“I was kind of thinking today (Monday) I would be able to look back on my last marathon, and that maybe 40 was a good round number, and that I wouldn’t be doing more after that, but now I don’t know,” Low admitted.

“It was disappointing to see it postponed as one does tend to peak at a specific time, so most runners for the race were doing that, but I must say I feel a lot worse for our Olympic athletes.

“They’ve worked for four years to be at their peak at a given minute of a given week of a given year, so it’s a disappointment and for all the others that were going to run the London Marathon, but for Olympic athletes it’s a huge disappointment. I just put my discomfort in context.”

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Instead of running around the capital, Low opted to go out for his normal Sunday run.

“I ran my normal Sunday run, which is two and a half to three hours over the Heath and Heath extension, so that’s what I normally do and I just did it by myself instead of with mates because of social distancing,” he added.

Low also went on to say his favourite part of running any marathon is crossing the finish line and is still not too sure how he ended up taking on so many marathons.

“The finish,” he chuckled. “When it’s all over it’s great, but I would say the crowds really help, all those people alongside you.

“The London Marathon I think was probably my second marathon, my first marathon I just felt like I’d been hit, and swore I would never run another marathon and that was in 1980, then along came the London Marathon in 1981 and for whatever reason I signed up and kept going ever since.

“Some mates from Highgate Harriers were doing it and said come along, so I did, but it took everything out of me.

“Bob Slowe of Highgate Harriers was very instrumental in getting a lot of us to run distances and to compete in marathons and he was a very handy runner.

“He’s also been a coach and a stalwart of the club.”


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