Legend Jack reaches massive marathon milestone to the cheers of St Albans Striders

PUBLISHED: 17:23 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 17:23 03 September 2019

St Albans Striders' Jack Brooks finishes his 500th marathon at the St Albans Stampede. Picture: GRAHAM SMITH

St Albans Striders' Jack Brooks finishes his 500th marathon at the St Albans Stampede. Picture: GRAHAM SMITH

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St Albans Striders came together to honour club legend Jack Brooks as he completed his 500th marathon on home turf.

St Albans Striders' Jack Brooks on his way to completing his 500th marathon at the St Albans Stampede. Picture: RICHARD UNDERWOODSt Albans Striders' Jack Brooks on his way to completing his 500th marathon at the St Albans Stampede. Picture: RICHARD UNDERWOOD

Taking part in the fifth annual St Albans Stampede, a 12-hour ultra-marathon event held in Heartwood Forest, Brooks was greeted by a blue and yellow guard of honour as he crossed the line.

St Albans Striders' Jack Brooks on his way to completing his 500th marathon at the St Albans Stampede. Picture: GRAHAM SMITHSt Albans Striders' Jack Brooks on his way to completing his 500th marathon at the St Albans Stampede. Picture: GRAHAM SMITH

Remarkably it was his 26th marathon of 2019 but perhaps even more remarkably, the 67-year-old only began running the distance when he was 40.

Steve Buckle of St Albans Striders leads the field at the St Albans Stampede. Picture: RICHARD UNDERWOODSteve Buckle of St Albans Striders leads the field at the St Albans Stampede. Picture: RICHARD UNDERWOOD

It means he has averaged nearly 20 a year to reach the incredible milestone and among his many achievements, Brooks is believed to be the first UK citizen to complete a marathon in all 50 US states and all 13 Canadian provinces and territories.

The start of the 2019 St Albans Stampede. Picture: GRAHAM SMITHThe start of the 2019 St Albans Stampede. Picture: GRAHAM SMITH

The even itself saw runners tackle as many undulating four-mile laps as possible in 12 hours as either solo runners or as teams of two, four or eight.

St Albans Striders' Andrew McKillop ran the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.St Albans Striders' Andrew McKillop ran the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.

Striders' Richard Evans was the first solo male, completing 18 circuits or approximately 72 miles. Rose McGinness completed 15 laps to secure the second solo female spot.

The club also dominated the team races, claiming the top three spots in the four-person category with the leading team comprising Steve Buckle, Joe Dunn, Simon Fraser and Jonathan Scott.

Buckle, who recorded the day's fastest lap, has been part of the winning four in each of the previous five events.

Finally, completing the feats of endurance for the week, Andrew McKillop ran the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, a race that covers 106 miles and features nearly 33,000 ft of climbing, in 41 hours 22 minutes.

The race is so gruelling that 987 of the original 2,543 starters failed to finish.

St Albans Athletics Club, a sister club to the Striders, had runners covering a variety of distances.

Dylan Bentley covered his longest run as part of a relay team at St Albans Stampede while others settled for shorter distances.

Will Bowran set another club record over 10,000m on the track at Redditch while Christy Durbin travelled to Switzerland to take part in the World Age Group Championships, finishing seventh in the U20s.

Ben Pattison continued his improvement with another PB over 800m and Sam Jones ran over one lap at the Tonbridge Twilight meeting against some top athletes.

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