St Albans runner on track to complete 500 marathons in 27 years

PUBLISHED: 08:06 02 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:57 05 August 2019

Jack Brooks at the Hong Kong Marathon. Picture: Submitted by Westminster Lodge

Jack Brooks at the Hong Kong Marathon. Picture: Submitted by Westminster Lodge

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A St Albans runner is on track to complete an epic 500 marathon races since turning 40.

Jack Brooks at the Hever Castle Trail Marathon. Picture: Submitted by Westminster LodgeJack Brooks at the Hever Castle Trail Marathon. Picture: Submitted by Westminster Lodge

On August 31, Jack Brooks is taking part in the 5th annual St Albans Stampede ultra-marathon, in which participants clock up as many miles as possible over 12 hours around a four mile loop of Sandridge's Heartwood Forest.

Once the 67-year-old reaches 26.2 miles, he will have run 500 marathons in 27 years.

He is racing in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care, a St Albans charity for people with life-limiting illness in Bucks and west Herts.

Jack also ran his 200th and 300th marathons for Rennie Grove, and raised more than £4,000.

He said: "Running has not only fulfilled my love of keeping fit, but it has allowed me to travel the world, meet new people and be part of an amazing community.

"Completing my 500th race will fulfil a major ambition of mine. Being able to do it on home soil and also raising money for a local charity makes it all the more special."

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Jack caught the running bug at 40, after attending a party with friends who had completed the Cambridge Half Marathon and promising to join them the following year.

"There are still loads of places around the world I am keen to run, some in which my friends are organising races, which is great. I definitely picture myself running for a long time to come."

Jack, who's full birthname is Arthur John Brooks, believes he is also the first UK citizen to complete a marathon in all 50 US states and all 13 Canadian provinces and territories.

He has had memorable experiences along the way - a grizzly bear crossed the road in between him and another runner in Yukon.

Jack trains at Westminster Lodge Leisure Centre on Holywell Hill, which is operated by Everyone Active on behalf of St Albans council.

General manager Lesley Garner said: "Jack is a testament to the fact that you can do anything if you put your mind to it, no matter your age or ability.

"Over the past eight years, Jack has inspired us all at Westminster Lodge to take on different fitness challenges and we can't wait to cheer him on as he runs in his 500th marathon next month."

Donate to Jack's 500th marathon at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jack-brooks4

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