Marathon effort by Sabden gran!

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A MARATHON-MAD pensioner is preparing to take on Britain’s most famous road race for an amazing 24th time.

Kitty Garnett, from Sabden, has done the London Marathon every year since 1988 but at 73 years old she has no plans of slowing down.

The former NHS worker has trained hard for the 26-mile race and says she is raring to go.

“It is exciting. I enjoy running and that’s why I keep running. When I started running no one imagined that I would ever do even a half-marathon.

“It is a challenge but I get a buzz out of racing at any distance. There is a real camaraderie between the runners – even if you’re at the back.”

Kitty, who ran her first marathon aged 50, is running to raise money for an Alzheimer’s charity.

She said: “I have met a lot of people locally whose friends or relatives have this illness. It is a great cause so I thought I would do it again for the charity.”

Her running regime normally begins before Christmas with 20 to 30 miles a week before building up to 50 in the run-up to the marathon – but this year she started late.

“I run most days. I like training when it’s a nice morning.

“But I have not done as many long runs this year because I started so late.

“I’m going in confident that I can complete it, but I’m not expecting to do anything spectacular in the way of time.”

At 73, Kitty is one of the oldest of the 35,000 entrants but on her 24th appearance she is still as keen as ever.

“I am looking forward to it. It is the 24th time I have done it.

“My best time was three hours and 50 minutes after I was retired when I was 55.

“Since then I have slowed down but I won my age category four years ago with a time of four hours and 30 minutes.

“I don’t know how many more marathons I will do but I will still always go out running in the morning.”

If you would like to sponsor Kitty for the big race on Sunday contact her on 01282 776042.