Kenilworth's marathon man set to complete his 500th marathon

Marathon man David Phillips will be coming to the end of his mammoth journey this month after he completes his 500th marathon.

David, aged 75, who lives in Claverdon and has run an accountancy firm based in Kenilworth for more than 40 years, will be completing his final marathon on April 28 in Stratford.

David Phillips.

David Phillips.

David said: “I have missed two out of the 37 marathons held in Stratford. This will be my 500th one and they have been getting harder and taking longer and longer. It is nothing to do with the distance, it’s to do with age.

"It will hopefully be a super finale and it is something I am really looking forward to. Members of my running club Massey Ferguson Runners (Coventry) will be taking part too. There will also be a party afterwards at Cox’s Yard.”

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This year the London Marathon and the Stratford Marathon clashed on dates and David decided to run the Stratford event for his last one.

“I wanted to do the Stratford event as my 500th as it has a special place in my heart,” said David. “I even helped to organise it, help find sponsors and helped keep it going at one point. I was very much involved in the early days.

David Phillips and his daughter Anna who will be joining him for his 500th marathon.

David Phillips and his daughter Anna who will be joining him for his 500th marathon.

“The Stratford Marathon has become part of me - or I have become part of it.

“One year we were on the start line and they said because of the weather conditions we had to stop at the halfway point - so it would be a half marathon instead.

“I wasn’t having that as it was meant to be my 400th marathon and I had a celebration planned. So when we got to the halfway point the rest left and I carried on and ran on my own. Some of the stewards waited for me and there was a bloke at the end with a medal.

“Another time I hadn’t long had a knee operation but I still ran it on crutches. It took seven-and-a-half hours and it killed my arms and hands but I completed it.

David Phillips with Colin Jackson. Photo submitted.

David Phillips with Colin Jackson. Photo submitted.

“A separate time I did fall during the Stratford Marathon and I caught my finger in a drain and it snapped.

“The Stratford Marathon has got a lot to answer for.”

Reaching 500 marathons was not David’s only goal. Over the years he has been running in support of the Brain and Spine Foundation and set himself the target of raising £100,000 for the charity. He managed to hit this target in 2017 and set his sights on raising £125,000, which he has now hit.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to get to £125,000. When I got to £100,000 I though but that’s not it I still have some marathons to do so I then pushed my target up.

“Its a perfect amount of money to raise and I am very happy as someone is going to benefit from the money.”

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David ran his first marathon in 1982 in Coventry and has taken part in ones across the globe. After completing his 500th he will be saying goodbye to marathons.

He said: “I have seen places that you never get to go to, you get to meet people regularly and you become natural friends. There’s no opposition just running. Everything is taken in good spirit.

“This will be my last marathon and I probably won’t miss the marathon itself but I would miss the running side so I won’t stop running - I will just take on shorter distances. There is such a social side, a fun side and comrade side event at small events.”

To sponsor David click here
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