Eddie lines up for 'virtual' London Marathon
AN athlete who rediscovered his love of long distance running in his 50s is warming up to take part in the virtual London Marathon.
Eddie Peat will run the 26.2 miles from Cow Green reservoir to his home in Wycliffe on October 4.
While this year’s London Marathon will feature elite athletes only, the tens of thousands of club and fun runners who would also have been taking part have been challenged to complete the distance on their own and on a course of their choosing.
Mr Peat, 62, had successfully applied to take part in the race via the annual ballot for places and he will get to run the London Marathon proper either next year or in 2022. After putting in all the training for this year, he was determined not to let it go to waste.
“I think the organisers made the right decision to carry on with the marathon, but on a virtual basis,” he said.
“If you get to six weeks before a marathon with your training, you should be nearly there.
“A lot of people will have got to that stage and then kept themselves on hold.”
Mr Peat ran his first marathon in 2011 after accepting a challenge at a coaching event.
“I used to run cross country in the team at Barnard Castle School. Then I gave up when I left school for 30 years,” he added.
“After I was challenged, I picked the Edinburgh Marathon in 2011, trained for it and I’ve not stopped since then.
“When I had done the Edinburgh Marathon I decided to become a bit more adventurous and do some off road and fell running.”
A member of Durham Fell Runners and Swaledale Outdoor Club, Mr Peat is raising money for the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team.
“My original plan was to run on behalf of two charities – Dementia UK and Macmillan – in the London Marathon,” he said.
“That is still the plan when I get to go to London, however, when it went virtual I wanted to run for a local charity. We had been up to Cow Green and were aware the rescue team had just helped someone up there and they also provide support for fell running events in case help is required.
“I hope I can get a bit of local support.”
Mr Peat said he had no idea how long it would take him to cover the course.
“I will be socially distanced all the way – although I may stop for refreshments in Middleton and Barney.”
Anyone who would like to support Mr Peat and make a donation can do so by going to the rescue team’s website www.twsmrt.org.uk and making a payment via the donation page.