Like to get in shape but are worried you are too old or out of puff to start? Here is the first of several interviews with Harrow residents as part of a Fit for Life series, conducted by London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, who share their lifelong love of exercise.
A routine health check put Nigel Rackham on the road to becoming a runner in his 30s…and he hasn’t stopped since.
It seems no one has told the fleet-footed accountant you are meant to slow down as you get older after he broke the UK marathon record for his age group last year in two hours and 41 minutes.
Nigel’s fame proved short-lived with his record broken within a few weeks although he still retains several age-related records for 20 miles.
“That’s the way it goes but it was nice to do it,” laughs the 60-year-old who joins the morning commute from Pinner every day in his shorts before disembarking at Finchley Road and running the remaining six miles into work.
He occasionally ups the ante by running from home completing the two-hour run while most of his colleagues are still fumbling for their first coffee of the day.
Nigel said: “I build running into my week so it doesn’t take any extra time up. It’s second nature to me now and just part of my daily routine.
“I did originally try going to the gym but found it boring. The fact that you can just run anytime, anywhere appeals to me. I started by jogging around the block and just caught the running bug.”
Nigel runs for Metros Running Club in Harrow and says all comers are welcome regardless of age or ability with regular races and a friendly pint in the pub afterwards.
“It is a great way to get in shape and keep the weight off and we’re always happy to see new faces.”
So, what’s next for the Pinner Rocket?
“I’m doing the Boston Marathon later this year. It is fair to say my previous three attempts didn’t end well.
“I got a stress fracture on my first attempt; was stretchered off the course during the second race when my sugar levels crashed; and was treated for dehydration and hypothermia the third time when a storm hit the course.
“I learned something from all those experiences so here’s hoping it all goes well in the fourth attempt.”
You can find out more about Metros Running Club at metros.org.uk