81-Year-Old Marathon Veteran Raves About Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon

An 81-year-old veteran of marathon running has described the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon as “truly exceptional.” Hilary Wharam, who completed her 175th marathon at the event, expressed her astonishment, saying, “It was absolutely amazing. I never anticipated it to be this fantastic.”

Having taken up the sport at the age of 55, Hilary has set her sights on accomplishing a remarkable goal of completing 300 marathons. Representing Horsforth Harriers, she successfully finished Sunday’s marathon in an impressive time of eight hours and 15 minutes.

Hilary has become a familiar face at various marathons, gaining recognition not only from fellow runners but also from individuals in other disciplines. As she made her way around the course, people from the crowd would enthusiastically embrace her with hugs.

Reflecting on the sense of community spirit experienced during the race, Hilary shared a heartwarming story: “At the eight-mile mark, I caught up with a lady who had been running for only two years. She joined the marathon and had been training diligently ever since. However, training doesn’t prepare you for the challenges when things start to get tough and the pain sets in.”

“From that point onwards, all the way to the finish line, I kept her company and encouraged her. I talked non-stop, which is why my voice is a bit hoarse now. She truly made this one of my most memorable marathons.”

Hilary emphasized the difficulties of running alone but acknowledged that having someone to support and motivate makes a significant difference. By focusing on helping others and not solely on her own performance, she felt a sense of liberation that propelled her forward.

The Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon, held in honor of former Leeds Rhinos rugby league star Rob Burrow, saw more than 12,000 participants. Burrow was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2019, which inspired Hilary to participate in the event after a member of the Horsforth Harriers passed away from the same condition.

Hilary’s remarkable journey as a marathon runner and her uplifting spirit continue to inspire and make a lasting impact on the running community.