Sportlink owner Neil Featherby with North Norfolk Beach Runner Robin Rush. Picture: Neil Featherby
Sunday’s Run Norwich 10k saw many people relatively new to running complete the challenge of taking part and finishing a 10k run for the first time.
At the opposite end of the running spectrum, I bumped into an old friend and very prominent local runner from the 1980s and 90s last week.
In fact this old friend has also been around on the cycling and swimming scene too for years, but it was as a runner I know him best for.
Robin Rush, from Aylsham, who coincidentally is also the North Norfolk Beach Runners longest serving member would regularly toe the line at road races around the county back in the day so when seeing him last week my immediate thought was to have a good chat with him about the good old days.
As it happens he came into Sportlink late last year with a paper cutting for me, but I unfortunately missed him so before I could say ‘hi Robin how good it is to see you this time’, with his usual big smile and dry sense of humour, casually sitting there trying on several pairs of running shoes, he beat me to it with a comical comment of ‘so you do still work here then?’
Needless to say I got my own back prior to him leaving when asking him to help unload a lorry with two new treadmills for our extension work which is currently going on at the store.
At 77 years of age, Robin is still so very fit that is for sure. In fact his current fitness levels are probably well beyond what many a person half his age could aspire too. Whilst most of his current day personal challenges are restricted to cycling all over Europe, he has completed ten marathons and taken part in running road races all around the World, which includes places such as Berlin, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moscow, Iran, Jordan and Turkey.
When it comes to cycling, he has cycled through the Atlas mountains in Morocco, cycled over 1,000 miles from Switzerland to Budapest whilst also following the rivers Thames, Danube and Rhine all the way from the sources of these great rivers. He has also cycled from John O’Groats to Lands End and again in the opposite direction whilst also having completed the trip from the most easterly point in the UK, to the most westerly point when cycling from Lowestoft to St David’s.
Oh and I nearly forgot that he has also cycled the length of Ireland too amongst his many feats of endurance. However, the main reason I am writing about Robin this week, is because he like so many other people here in Norfolk, is someone who just quietly and indeed very modestly does so much to help others through his running and cycling. So much so that he has raised a staggering £200,000 through all his many superb efforts during the last 40 years for which lots of charities and organisations, many of them local, benefitting from his efforts.
I think this is absolutely brilliant and once again demonstrates just how running and keeping fit helps to not only keep our bodies in great shape, but our minds too for which Robin most certainly epitomises this.
For those who may not know him, he was awarded an MBE in the Queens Birthday honours list last year for all his charity work, which I know he is very proud of and rightly so.
Incidentally, I have sold him many pairs of running shoes over the years and believe it or not I can still remember the very first pair!
Going back to last Sunday’s city centre 10k, a huge well done to everyone who took part whilst also not forgetting all those people, organisations and businesses who help to make it the super event it most certainly is.