Maurice, 80, faces marathon challenge

At the age of 80 Maurice Copeland could be forgiven for laying in on Sundays and having a leisurely breakfast.But instead the Octogenarian pounds the roads across north Norfolk as he prepares to run his 18th and last marathon.

At the age of 80 Maurice Copeland could be forgiven for laying in on Sundays and having a leisurely breakfast.

But instead the Octogenarian pounds the roads across north Norfolk as he prepares to run his 18th and last marathon.

Mr Copeland, from Mundesley, is running up to 15 miles every Sunday as he trains to take part in the London Marathon on April 26 to raise funds for Cancer Research.

The London race will be Mr Copeland's marathon swansong as it will be his last 26 mile ordeal because as he puts it 'my legs are not getting any younger'.


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Mr Copeland, a former Bacton Gas terminal worker and retained fireman, only started running in 1986 after his teenage daughter challenged him to take part in the Felbrigg 10k fun run.

Much to his daughter's annoyance Mr Copeland beat her and 80 others. Since then he has gone on to run 17 marathons and countless other races. In that time he has raised more than �15,000 for good causes.

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Speaking after a 15-mile training run, Mr Cope said that he had set himself a target time of seven hours for the London Marathon. His personal best was three hours 38 minutes in 1986.

He said: 'I have decided it will be my last marathon as I find the training is not getting any easier. You just can't keep pounding along the roads for hours on end.

'I will run at my own pace and enjoy the marathon. There are older people than me taking part so I am sure I won't be last.'

Mr Copeland will be watched by his wife, June, daughter Sue Hall and three grandchildren when he takes to the streets of the capital with 35,000 other participants.

When asked what he will be thinking when his last marathon starts, he said: 'Just finish and get that medal.

'The London Marathon is something very different - especially if there is nice weather. The large crowds just pull you along.'

Mr Copeland, who is a member of the North Norfolk Beach Runners, will still continue to run half marathons and 10k races.

Anyone who wants to sponsor Mr Copeland can make a donation through his daughter's shop Howard Page in Station Road Mundesley and the Mundesley golf club or write to him at Glendale, Heath Lane, Mundesley, Norfolk NR11 8JP.

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