Nearly 300 marathons and still going strong

PUBLISHED: 11:52 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:39 26 October 2009

Eleanor Draper at last year's marathon. Photo courtesy of MarathonFoto

Eleanor Draper at last year's marathon. Photo courtesy of MarathonFoto

WITH a combined age of 144 years old and having completed 297 marathons between them, you would have thought the Drapers would have had enough of running. But apparently not! Eleanor and her husband Dennis, who are both 72 and live in Longcroft Lane, WGC,

Dennis Draper during last year's run. Photo courtesy of MarathonFoto

WITH a combined age of 144 years old and having completed 297 marathons between them, you would have thought the Drapers would have had enough of running.

But apparently not!

Eleanor and her husband Dennis, who are both 72 and live in Longcroft Lane, WGC, run an average of six marathons every year.

And they told the WHT there would be no chance of missing this year's 'biggie' - the Flora London Marathon, which takes place on Sunday.

Dennis, who, like his wife, is a member of Garden City Runners, said: "For me the London Marathon is the biggest and best marathon.

"We have been running it since 1988, it was the first marathon we completed.

"I think the atmosphere makes it special."

When asked about overtaking the youngsters, the former carpenter replied: "Everyone runs at their own pace, it helps if you have experience, I don't really think about it.

"I think for anyone to complete a marathon is a quite some achievement, especially if you're a working person with a family."

Eleanor won a trophy at last year's London race for being the fastest woman over 70, clocking a sprightly 4.24.

She told the WHT that she enjoys competing in the cross-country marathons as well as doing the city-based events.

"We've done marathons all over the world. For me what's special about the cross-country marathons is the breathtaking scenery.

"When we do the cross-country ones we run together, but for the London Marathon we go at our pace; he's a bit faster than me!"

The mother-of-six and grandmother-of-18, who has a record time of 4.03, is aiming to finish this year in four-and-a-half hours - roughly the same aim as Dennis.

Eleanor added: "I think the rest of the family think we're mad.

"We have both been very lucky with injuries, our doctor is a runner too and he doesn't seem to want us to stop, so we will keep going."

The couple, who have previously taken part in ultra races of up to 80 miles at a time, will be raising cash for the WGC-based Isabel Hospice.


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