Woodford Green teacher runs sixth marathon in 12 months

PUBLISHED: 19:00 25 February 2015 | UPDATED: 10:14 26 February 2015

Alan Mair, head of RE at Trinity Catholic High School, who has just completed his sixth marathon in 12 months

Alan Mair, head of RE at Trinity Catholic High School, who has just completed his sixth marathon in 12 months


On turning 50 teacher Alan Mair’s sister remarked that he better take more care of himself now he had reached middle age.

And he took her comments in his stride – quite literally.

Last week, Mr Mair, now 51, and head of religious education at Trinity Catholic High School, in Mornington Road, Woodford Green, completed the Tokyo marathon – his sixth in just 12 months.

In doing so he became only ninth person to match the incredible feat.

“I had not run for about 20 years when I decided to get back into it,” he said.

Mr Mair ran marathons in London, Boston, Berlin, Chicago, New York and Tokyo for 
Cafod – the Catholic Agency For Overseas Development.

“It is a charity which is close to my heart,” added Mr Mair.

“It works in the developing world and, being at a Catholic school, I thought it was a good link.”

He ran 120 miles weekly last year as he trained for each marathon, but admitted it was tough at the start.

“I was amazed at how difficult it was to get the miles up at the beginning,” he said. “Even doing five miles was a struggle, but now I can do 20 miles without a thought at all.

“I have built up my lung capacity going over that course length. I noticed a change in my fitness very quickly.”

Mr Mair added running long distances energises him after a long day of teaching.

“What I have found, in terms of mentality, is although I might be tired I can go out on a run and feel much less tired,” added the teacher, who has a treadmill in his classroom.

His best advice for any aspiring runners is “not to give up”.

“The hardest step you will ever run is that first step,” he said. “It does not matter how fast you run, just do it.”

Boston was his favourite marathon because it was one of the “trickiest” being eight days after the London Marathon.

To donate, visit donations will be matched by the UK Government up to £5 million as part of Cafod’s Lent appeal

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