St Albans runner Jack Brooks will break new ground next month when he completes his 600th marathon at the age of 72.

Sheffield native Jack, who moved to St Albans 31 years ago, will pass the milestone when he runs the Cannock Chase Forest Marathon in Staffordshire on June 22.

He caught the running bug in his 30s and hasn't stopped - completing marathons across the UK and Europe, as well as all 50 US states.

Jack's exploits average at around 30 marathons a year and last month he ran the Barbie Run Trail Marathon in London - getting ever closer to the 600 marathon milestone.

Herts Advertiser: Jack after a 2019 marathon in ArgentinaJack after a 2019 marathon in Argentina (Image: PR4 Media Ltd)

Jack said: “When I first started running, I would run around the block to build up my stamina.

"Before long I was hooked and looking for new running challenges. My favourite marathon was Chicago because it was my fastest time, but the Grand Canyon was a special one as the views were amazing and Lichtenstein was memorable as we ran alongside the Alps.”

He continued: "It’s been a busy start to the year with lots of overseas races. I’m looking forward to a rest and a chance to recharge the batteries ahead of my 600th in June.”

Running has shaped a lot of Jack's life choices, with his decision to move from Sheffield to St Albans partly motivated by the running club St Albans Striders - of which Jack has been a member for 31 years, including a stint as chair from 1999 to 2000.

Herts Advertiser: Jack running a marathon on home soil in St Albans.Jack running a marathon on home soil in St Albans. (Image: PR4 Media Ltd)

His landmark 600th marathon will be for a worthy cause, with Jack pledging to run the Cannock Chase marathon in aid of Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care.

He explains: "I’m running my 600th marathon for Rennie Grove Peace as I know what an incredible role the charity plays in providing free care and support for local people in their darkest times.

"As a charity, they rely on the local community, so I am keen to do my bit and hope to raise £2,000.

"I ran my 200th marathon for them wearing a Roman centurion outfit, but for my 500th marathon I wore more conventional attire as I will for this one!”

Tracey Hancock, fundraising director at Rennie Grove Peace said: “Jack is a true inspiration, and we are thrilled he has chosen to support Rennie Grove Peace with this incredible landmark race.

"The money he raises through sponsorship will make a huge difference to the local patients and families we support.

“Jack is a familiar face in St Albans as he’s often out and about training. He is clear proof it’s never too late to start running, or to set yourself a truly incredible challenge.”

Jack's top five running tips for readers are:

1. Don’t worry about how fast you are running, just go with it

2. Make sure you are relaxed when you run

3. Don’t focus on your speed

4. Keep it fun and enjoyable and enjoy finding new routes

5. As you get older, you will slow down – you just can’t help it!

You can help Jack hit his target by visiting his Just Giving Page.