Ron Hill takes a day off

Ron Hill with Jackie, Bashir and Steve

Running hero, Ron Hill, who won the marathon at the 1970 Commonwealth Games and set a World Record of 2:09:28, decided to take a day off running yesterday for the first time in more than 52 years.

Ron also represented Great Britain at the Tokyo (1964) and Munich (1972) Olympic Games. He started a #Runstreak on 20th December 1964 and hadn't missed a day's running until yesterday when he took a day off over heart concerns.

Ron is a huge inspiration for runners of all abilities and standards. He has helped many top runners who are following in his footsteps with expert advice and training tips and, whilst regularly participating in running events all over the world, he always has time to encourage and advise his fellow runners. His current handicap score, at the age of 78,  is an impressive 25.9 and he is a regular at the parkruns in Marple and Stockport.

Former England and Great Britain international, Bashir Hussain (handicap 0.5) is one of those that followed in Ron's footsteps by achieving a hat-trick of wins at the Manchester Marathon between 1996 - 1998. Bashir said, "Ron has run for 19,032 days consecutively and so that makes me 19.032 days old! He started his running streak on the day that I was born. I was lucky to meet Ron early in my career, at Stockport Harriers, where I used him as my role model. He is a constant source of inspiration and has had a big influence on me as a runner and now as a coach to distance runners that are aspiring to the level of success that Ron has reached. He deserves a day off although I'm sure it is going to feel strange for him!"

Ron has also helped millions of runners that he has had no personal contact with, through his successful career as a textile chemist. He was the first runner to use synthetic fabrics and he set up Ron Hill Sports in 1970, where he arguably led the way in producing running apparel that makes us feel and run better!

Ron is also a founder of the original Tour of Tameside, a multi-stage event that consitsted of a total of 52 miles and six races in seven days. Hussain, who was a four-time winner at the event, said "The Tour was a big event on the calendar in the 80s and 90s. You could see Ron's influence on the event - it was a test of each runner's versatility and endurance and used a mix of terrains and locations in the Tameside area where Ron clocked up his miles. Ron would run every race and although there was a rest day on the Wednesday, you could be sure that Ron would have gone out for a little run!"

Ron has recently been running a mile a day but experienced heart pain on his last run and decided to take a day off. Congratulations, Ron on your incredible 19,032 days of running and we wish you a speedy recovery!

Pictured from left: Bashir Hussain, Jackie Newton, Ron Hill and Steve Kenyon who made up the Running Legends team at the Greater Manchester Marathon in 2015.