Archived News - London Marathon
Retired Eaton Bray pub landlord Mick Todd once glibly remarked to his customers while watching the London Marathon on television: "I can do that."
He was immediately met with an onslaught of sponsors, and one regular even offered to help with his training.
Nine years on, 65-year-old Mick is getting ready to run his eighth London Marathon, and he has also taken part in gruelling courses further afield, in both New York and Paris.
The former owner of the Hope & Anchor pub has taken to running like a duck to water, and this year he hopes to raise as much money as possible for Sense, which supports and campaigns for adults who are deaf and blind.
Mick, of Moor End Close, Eaton Bray, said: "I'm going to try and raise as much money as I can. I know I'm not going to win it, but I know I'm not going to come last either"
He has raised thousands of pounds over the years for good causes, and he said: "I'm knackered every time I do it, so I say I'm not going to do it again until I'm asked to do it by somebody else."
Since retiring, Mick has joined Dunstable Road Runners, and he said he thoroughly enjoys it.
"They make you feel very welcome. You get that little bit fitter because they gee you up, and that's what I like about them.
"I think it's wonderful because they could just steam off and leave us behind, but they don't," he said.
And he joked that his wife, Ann, is very keen on his new pastime.
"To be fair I think I get out of her hair now I'm retired, so now she always says: 'Go on, off you go,"' he said.
This year Mick said he would love to top his record time of five hours and six minutes, but his main aim is to help good causes.
In 2003 he jetted off to New York to take part in the famous marathon, and he described the experience as "terrific".
He said he was struck by the television coverage, which captured the race in its entirety, and added about its London counterpart: "I feel that the
London Marathon is the most terrific race in the world. It's so well organised, but the coverage for the back runners is a shame."
Asked how he got into running marathons, he said: "I was in my pub and we had the marathon on, and I said: 'I can do that'.
"Two businessmen backed me straight away for a fiver each, and one woman said she would help me train. I thought: 'I can't back out of it now."'
He now proudly displays the medals he has accumulated during his distinguished running career, and looks forward to picking up a tenth on Sunday, April 13.
Simon Taylor, Sense's London Marathon project manager, said: "We are delighted that Mick is one of 400 people that have chosen to run the Flora London Marathon for Sense.
"Most of what we learn about the world comes through our ears and eyes, so deafblind people face major challenges with communication, access to information and mobility
"We believe they couldn't be running for a more worthwhile cause, and we'll be behind them every step of the way, cheering them on."
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Source: Dave Burke, Leighton Buzzard Observer, 20 February 2008