Mansfield OAP to run fourth London marathon after two hip replacements
A 70-year-old Mansfield man will be running in his fourth London Marathon in April - despite having undergone two hip replacements.
Derek Ward, of Opal Close, completed the 26.2 mile circuit around the capital city in 2012, 2013 and 2014 raising much-needed funds for AGEUK, Rainbows Hospice, and The Jigsaw Support Scheme.
Derek said: “I’m 70 now so I thought it seemed like a good idea!
“I’ve always enjoyed it so wanted to give it another go.”
Husband to Melanie, a dad of four and grandfather, Derek’s oldest daughter Vicky has also completed the marathon in 2012 and 2015. The pair have raised £10,000 between them with their efforts.
Daughters Kate, and twin sons Andrew and Steve, all support him too.
Retired business owner Derek said: “My daughters and sons asked if I was sure I wanted to do it again and if it’s a good idea but they support me.
“I think my wife just knows if I say I’m going to do something I will do it so she goes along with it.”
Derek spends his time looking after his grandchildren and most weekends are spent in his motorhome and out training for the marathon.
He said: “I’ve done it before so I know what to expect but training is very important.
“I’m on a 17-week training plan now so getting out every day. It’s a case of getting up in the morning and seeing what I have to do that day.
“I have to be a bit careful because of my hip replacements so I do a lot of cycling and walking and low impact training.”
Derek missed out in the ballot for a place of his own for the 2017 event but secured a spot on the starting line thanks to Sense, a national charity that supports people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, to enjoy more independent lives.
But in exchange he must raise £1,500 and if there is any shortfall he will have to make it up from his own pocket.
Derek added: “I’ve been lucky enough to take part before and people have said I’ve inspired them to do the same. I’d be very grateful for any donations and support.”
To sponsor Derek visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DerekWard.