'Life is for living': March marathon man Pat Brown, 80, takes part in last London Marathon 38 years since his first race
PUBLISHED: 16:59 07 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:00 07 May 2019
He is the marathon man of March who at 80 years of age has run his last London Marathon after taking part 26 times.
Pat Brown, from Knight's End Road, conquered his first London Marathon in 1981 and has since gone on to compete in races across the globe.
In one year, Pat donned his trainers and took on 34 marathons in Spain, France, Portugal, Paris and Wales - citing the running bug as being "very addictive".
"Older runners have proved the doubters wrong and we've shown that there's not only life after 40 - but life after 80 in fact," the father-of-two said.
"Running gives you that ultimate feel-good factor."
The former plumber said he knew that this year's London Marathon had to be his last after several injuries.
He explained: "I had torn a muscle in my back five weeks ago so I was really worried about not finishing the race and letting the March Athletics Club down.
"London was my first marathon all those years ago so I knew that it had to be my last too.
"I was really pleased that I got around. It is the best marathon in the world and the support is incredible."
Pat took up running after playing football in his younger years and having a short-lived career in boxing - where he fought in 75 fights.
The first London Marathon Pat took part in was in 1981 and he finished it in over two hours.
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This year he managed a time of 7.57.31 and came 15th in the 80-84 years old category.
Pat said: "The entire city grinds to a halt and everyone comes together to encourage the runners.
"Age does not matter - if you have the right mindset then you can do it.
"I've had wonderful support from March Athletics Club, Susan was there to encourage me during the last bit and to tell me to keep going.
"A lot of people were on their way home when we were still powering on, yet they were still clapping and cheering us when they walked past."
Since the 1980s, running has become a passion for Pat, helping him both physically and mentally, as well bringing a bond between him and his wife, Maura.
"For our Silver Wedding Anniversary we took part in the New York marathon, which was an incredible experience," he added.
"I plan to keep going and doing shorter races, I'm not going to stop.
"Life is for living that is what it's all about at the end of the day."
March AC also had eight London Marathon runners and first across the finish line for the club was Toni Alcaraz with a time of 3.07.02.