Incredible 81-year-old runner from Horsforth completes her 175th marathon

Hilary aims to complete 300 marathons in her lifetime.

The Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon was Hilary Wharam’s 175th marathon, which she said was “one of her very best”.

The Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon saw thousands of people taking part and honouring the Leeds Rhinos legend last Sunday, 14 May 2023.

More than 12,000 people started the 26-mile run around the city which kicked off at 9am, with a further 3,000 people running the half marathon an hour later.

And taking part was one very special lady, an 81-year-old running veteran named Hilary Wharam.

Taking up the sport at age 55, Hilary said she was eventually aiming to complete a whopping 300 marathons – the Rob Burrows marathon being her 175th.

Representing Horsforth Harriers, she completed the marathon in eight hours and 15 minutes.

Hilary spoke to the BBC about her experience: “So many people know me, not just the runners but from other disciplines, so as I was running round people were jumping out from the crowd to give me a hug.

“At eight miles, I caught up with a lady who had only been running for two years.

“She joined the marathon and had been training ever since, but your training doesn’t tell you how to cope when the wheels start coming off and you start hurting.

“So from eight miles, all the way round, I talked her to the finish. I’m croaking now because of all the talking. Actually she gave me one of my very best marathons.

“It’s always hard, it’s harder on your own, but if you’ve got a captive audience, and you’re thinking about helping them, you just fly because you’re not concentrating on yourself at all.”

Read more: Watch the heartwarming moment Kevin Sinfield carries best mate Rob Burrow over the finish line at Leeds Marathon

Featured image – Horsforth Harriers

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