Page last updated at 11:06 GMT, Monday, 14 April 2008 12:06 UK

A marathon after 28 races in row

Jeff Aston
Jeff Aston running in the first ever London marathon in 1981

A runner from Cardiff is one of a select group who took part in their 28th consecutive London Marathon.

Jeff Aston, 60, is one of only 24 runners to have competed in every single marathon since 1981. He competed Sunday's race in three hours 36 minutes.

He started the race with the other London ever-presents in special T-shirts.

Mr Aston estimates he has raised around 25,000 for charity from his efforts.

When the event first started, Mr Aston was one of only 7,000 entries and of those 6,500 finished.

"I started running sort of by mistake," he said.

"I was playing squash and football but when the River Taff flooded and I couldn't play squash because the courts were waterlogged I started running around the playing fields.

Jeff Aston running the London marathon in 1999
I'm never going to be as quick as I was before but focusing on the race ahead keeps me out training
Jeff Aston

"I met a few people doing the same thing and we got together to form a running club."

Mr Aston, a father-of-two is one of the founding members of the Les Croupiers running club in Cardiff and has run the marathon 15 times under the three hour mark.

His best time came in 1983 when he completed the course in two-and-a-half hours.

He joined around 40,000 people along the 26.2 mile route and met his target of finishing in around three-and-a-half hours.

"It's the challenge of the marathon distance that keeps me going," said Mr Aston.

"I'm never going to be as quick as I was before but focusing on the race ahead keeps me out training.

"Particularly in London you enjoy the support of the crowds - it is a unique atmosphere."

Sunday's marathon was Mr Aston's 50th in total. He has competed in several races in England and Wales and the Berlin marathon 11 years ago.

His only running ambition is to keep going for as long as he can although he admits it is taking him longer to recover from marathons as he gets older.

Around 35 members of Les Croupiers joined him on the course on Sunday and Mr Aston raised money for Cancer Care Cymru.




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