Lancashire

Ron Hill: The Olympian who kept running

Ron Hill at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ron Hill was appointed MBE in 1971

Former Olympian Ron Hill has ended a 52-year streak of running at least one mile every single day after experiencing chest pains.

Hill, 78, has run every day since 20 December 1964, clocking up 52 years and 39 days.

The athlete, who won marathon gold medals at the European Championships in 1969 and the 1970 Commonwealth Games, has inspired successive generations of runners, whether elite or fun-runners.

Here is how the running community from around England have reacted to the news.


Image copyright Jo Pavey
Image caption Jo Pavey hails 'incredible' Ron Hill

Jo Pavey, 43, five times Olympian and 10,000m gold medal winner in the 2014 European Championships

"Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Ron Hill, a true legend.

"He is such a great man and his determination is so inspirational.

"Running every day for 52 years and 39 days is such an amazing achievement.

"His performances in the marathon are also incredible."


Image copyright Clayton-le-Moors Harriers
Image caption Dave Scott hopes it is only a temporary halt for the former Olympian

Dave Scott, 73, chairman of Clayton-le-Moors Harriers - Hill's athletics club

"It will be devastating if he has to stop.

"The great thing about Ron is that unlike some people who win gold medals and then pack up he has kept running.

"He's always ready to stop and talk to people.

"For our club his association with us is like Sir Bobby Charlton with Manchester United.

"I once tried to run every day for about five years but I gave up after twisting my ankle on a fell, although I still run quite a lot."


Image copyright Jon Sutherland
Image caption Jon Sutherland from the USA says Ron Hill has influenced running in many ways

Jon Sutherland, 66, from Los Angeles, USA has been on a running streak since 1969

"Ron Hill is a hero to me. I think he is one of the most important figures in the evolution of running

"I only met Ron once and it was in the early 70s before most runners knew anything about streaks.

"Most running fans know Ron Hill for his great marathon victories and world records, his pioneering exploits that included carbo-loading, wearing mesh singlets, split running shorts. and creating road racing shoes that are as formidable exhibits of his love for running as his incredible streak.

"My streak started May 26,1969 so that's 47 years eight months well behind Ron's 52 years plus.

"I'm going to run as long as I can. The last year was rough due to injuries but I have a couple of dogs who remind me I need to get out there each morning."


Image copyright Ben Ashworth
Image caption Ben Ashworth is inspired by the story of Ron running in a plaster cast

Ben Ashworth, 37, from Manchester, who has run 24 marathons in 24 months since he was diagnosed with bowel cancer

"I have never been able to manage a running streak but he has certainly inspired me.

"When times have been tough I have thought about people like Ron.

"I remember the story about how he even managed a run with his foot in a plaster cast.

"If I could still be running in my 80s I would be very pleased."


Image copyright Martin Chorley
Image caption Martin Chorley met his hero Ron (pictured left in his yellow vest and back to the camera) at the Manchester marathon in 2016

Martin Chorley, 55, from Warminster, who has been running for 11 years

"Ron Hill is so dedicated and disciplined to his running which shows me what can be achieved and helps me in all aspects of my running.

"I met Ron Hill at the start of the Greater Manchester marathon 2016 had a chat with him and shook his hand and said it was brilliant to actually meet him in person.

"I almost run everyday but as i am training for various distances from 10K to the marathon quite often there are rest days in the schedule.


Image copyright Tom Goom
Image caption A run a day is possible for everyone says physio Tom Goom

Tom Goom, 35, physiotherapist and runner from Brighton

"He is very much an inspiration - he's been running longer than I have been alive.

"Equalling his record is going to be very difficult

"It is very good for the body to run every day - the problem comes when people try to do too much too quickly.

"It is best to build up slowly and reach a rate that is manageable for you

"Regular exercise is good for your physical and mental health."


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