93-year-old Northampton man to feature in inspirational running book after starting parkrun in his nineties

Roger was asked to be a part of the book as he proves ‘it is never too late to start running’

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 5:02 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 5:04 pm

A 93-year-old Northampton man will feature in an inspirational running book after he started attending parkruns less than two years ago.

Roger Sawtell went to his first organised Saturday morning 5K, also known as parkrun, at The Racecourse in October 2019.

The now 93-year-old attended four more community runs before Covid-19 hit and caused parkruns across the country to be cancelled.

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Roger (third from the right) attended his first parkrun in 2019 at the age of 92.

Following the surge of people taking up running during the pandemic, a book - entitled ‘Running Stories’ - has been put together to showcase dozens of runners and how the sport has helped them overcome adversity or find positivity in their life.

As Roger proves ‘it is never too late to start running’, he was asked to contribute to the book and share his experience of running.

Roger Sawtell said: “I am 93 and for 92 of those years I did not show any interest in running.

“But last in October 2019 my always optimistic friend said ‘why not try parkrun, you can always drop out if you feel a heart attack coming on.’

“Having staggered across the finishing line in about 46 minutes the Race Director said ‘do you want the good news or the bad news?’

“Okay, give me the bad news.

“‘You were last in your age group. However, the good news is that you were also first in your age group. We have never before had anyone in the age group 90-94.’”

Roger’s story is one of 88 in the book organised into six broad themes focussing on how running helped each individual.

All the authors have also agreed that 100 percent of revenues from sales will be donated to The Running Charity - a small UK organisation transforming the lives of vulnerable young homeless people through running.

Jerry Lockspeiser, one of the authors who has put the book together, added: “We created this book to celebrate the diversity of the running community, including who runs, why, where and with what benefit.

“We hope that every reader will find stories they identify with, whether they currently run or not.

“More than that, we hope the positivity that shines through every page will inspire non-runners to start.

“What better way to demonstrate the glory of running than through the experience of others?”

Alex Eagle, co-founder and CEO of The Running Charity continued: “Homelessness can happen at any time and to anyone.

“When it happens to a young person it can affect them for the rest of their life.

“At least 103,000 young people in the UK are homeless right now and homeless young people are almost twice as likely to die as their non-homeless peers.

“Every purchase of this book contributes to our funds and our ability to work with more young people in need.”

‘Running Stories’ will be available to buy in print and eBook from March 11 from Amazon and other retailers on and offline.

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