Marathon Man Jack prepares for 600th marathon

Local septuagenarian, Jack Brooks, is set to achieve an incredible running milestone this June when he runs his 600th marathon to raise money for Rennie Grove Peace.

Marathon Man Jack prepares for 600th marathon

A marathon effort!

72-year-old St Albans resident, Jack, started his marathon journey in 1990 when he was in his 30s and agreed to run the Lincoln half-marathon with friends. After completing this first challenge, Jack caught the running bug and decided to train for the London Marathon which he ran the following year.  

Falling in with a running crowd, Jack has since travelled the world and completed marathons in the 50 states of the US, all 13 territories and provinces in Canada and many in Europe and the UK, running up to 30 a year. 

Jack says:

“When I first started running, I would run around the block to build up my stamina. Before long I was hooked and looking for new running challenges. My favourite marathon was Chicago because it was my fastest time, but the Grand Canyon was a special one as the views were amazing and Lichtenstein was memorable as we ran alongside the Alps.”

Since April, Jack has completed marathons in Trinidad and Tobago, Crete, Rhodes and most recently in London – with the Barbie Run Trail Marathon in London ticking his 599th off the list! 

“It’s been a busy start to the year with lots of overseas races. I’m looking forward to a rest and a chance to recharge the batteries ahead of my 600th in June.”  

Marathon Man Jack’s 600th marathon will be the Cannock Chase Forest Marathon on 22nd June – a multi-distance marathon where runners can run between 10 to 50 miles depending on ability. Unsurprisingly, exceptional runner – and member of the 100 Marathon Club – Jack hopes to run further than just a marathon.  

Jack moved to St Albans City 31 years ago from Sheffield. His decision was influenced by the city’s formidable running club, St Albans Striders, of which Jack has been a member for 31 years, including a stint as Chair from 1999 to 2000.  

His career with the General Electric Company (GEC) saw Jack negotiating the sale of part of the land it owned on the Alban Way, playing a part in turning this disused railway route into a public track and a favourite route for runners.  

Jack has raised a phenomenal amount for charities over the years and has chosen us as the charity to benefit from his milestone marathon. 

“I’m running my 600th marathon for Rennie Grove Peace as I know what an incredible role the charity plays in providing free care and support for local people in their darkest times. As a charity, it relies on the local community, so I am keen to do my bit and hope to raise £2,000. I ran my 200th marathon for them wearing a Roman centurion outfit, but for my 500th marathon I wore more conventional attire as I will for this one!” 

Tracey Hancock, our Director of Fundraising, says:

“Jack is a true inspiration, and we are thrilled he has chosen to support Rennie Grove Peace with this incredible landmark race. The money he raises through sponsorship will make a huge difference to the local patients and families we support.  

“Jack is a familiar face in St Albans as he’s often out and about training. He is clear proof it’s never too late to start running, or to set yourself a truly incredible challenge.” 

Jack’s Top 5 Running Tips: 

1.        Don’t worry about how fast you are running, just go with it 

2.        Make sure you are relaxed when you run 

3.        Don’t focus on your speed 

4.        Keep it fun and enjoyable and enjoy finding new routes 

5.        As you get older, you will slow down – you just can’t help it! 

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