Marathon's no sweat if you stop for a pint and a fag halfway, says Buster (aged 101)
AS BRITAIN'S oldest employee, 101-year-old Buster Martin aimed to smash another record yesterday as the world's oldest marathon runner, helped along the gruelling 26.2-mile course with a pint of beer and a cigarette.
Bearded and spritely, the former army physical-training instructor got in shape for yesterday's London marathon in his time off from a plumbing firm.
Before setting off, the father of 17, who is also a star with a pop group called The Zimmers, said: "I've said I'll attempt it. I haven't said I'll complete it. I'll do what I always do and have a pint and a fag. People ask what's my secret but I haven't got one. They say fags and booze are bad for you – but I'm still here, aren't I?"
Expected to complete the race in 12 hours, he was well on target at the 13-mile mark, where he stopped for a beer, cigarette and some homemade sandwiches.
Mr Martin returned to work aged 99, saying he was bored after two years of retirement, and was set to beat the record for the world's oldest marathon runner by eight years.
He joined charity fundraiser Lloyd Scott – in a robot costume – six Masai warriors, a Star Wars stormtrooper, celebrity cook Gordon Ramsay and more than 35,000 other runners to pound the streets of London.
Braving heavy showers and bursts of sunshine, as well as fatigue, aching muscles and blisters, the runners also endured an extra three metres – added to the course at the last minute to divert around a gas leak.
Martin Lela, of Kenya, won the men's race in two hours, five minutes, 15 seconds, while German Irina Militancy took the female title with a time of two hours, 24 minutes, 14 seconds.
The Masai warriors left their village in Tanzania for the first time to take part in a "Greenforce" team, named after the charity that helped their community develop a water system.
Others such as Rebecca and Mike Tomlinson, the daughter and husband of fundraiser Jane Tomlinson, who died last year of cancer, were inspired by the memory of loved ones.
Gordon Ramsay, who finished in three hours, said: "There were thousands who came out – they were fantastic."
SEVEN RACES ON SEVEN CONTINENTS IN SEVEN DAYS FOR BLIND RUNNER
DAVE Heeley was yesterday planning some "quiet time at home" after becoming the first blind person to run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.
Mr Heeley, along with his sighted running partner Malcolm Carr, crossed the London Marathon finish line after five hours and 23 minutes, supported by cheering friends and family.
Mr Heeley and Mr Carr ran their first event in the Falkland Islands on 7 April, before travelling to Rio de Janeiro, Los Angles, Sydney, Dubai, Tunis and finally London, and have so far raised over 100,000 for the Guide Dogs charity.
Mr Heeley said he was inspired to undertake the challenge by the "life-changing" event of receiving his first guide dog.
He hopes his world record will help other blind people to achieve "freedom and independence".
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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