Seventy-two year old volunteer Derek targets the four hour marathon mark

Published: April 19, 2015


Next Sunday, retiree and committed volunteer Derek James, of Silvertown, is set to take on his third consecutive marathon for the hospice and his seventh London Marathon overall.

Evergreen Derek, who will be 72 by the time of the race, only took up running in his late thirties, and ran his first marathon thirty years ago. The retired history teacher is one of twenty-six people donning a Richard House jersey to take on the London Marathon in support of the hospice.

Derek, who began teaching at Pretoria Boys’ School and Eastlea School in Canning Town, has volunteered at the hospice for the past seven years.

His time last year of 4 hours 3mins 35sec put him 15th in the over 70s category and he has targeted getting below the four hour mark this year.

Derek says: “I’ve kept strictly to the training schedule. The hardest part of the training has been giving up beer for the last three weeks, but I shall start making up for lost time within half an hour of crossing the finishing line!”

“I’m proud to volunteer at Richard House, it’s a good cause, and I know they need to raise so much from donations to keep helping children and families.”

Mary Meekings, head of community and events at Richard House said: “That Derek is planning to break the four hour marathon mark at seventy-two is incredible. He has worked so hard maintaining and improving our award-winning gardens over the past seven years, and to run three marathons as well is testament to how much he cares about the hospice.”

To sponsor Derek go to:

Pictured: Derek running the London Marathon for Richard House in 2014