A MILTON Keynes marathon running legend will hang up his trainers on Sunday night after the final chapter in his incredible story.
Jim McKellar will run his 107th and last ever 26.2 mile race in his home town when Milton Keynes joins the map of established marathon hosts this weekend.
And for the 76-year-old it promises to be an emotional occasion as disabled wife Lily will see him cross the finish line for the very first time.
Affectionately known as Old Bullet by his Marshall Milton Keynes Athletic Club friends, McKellar has become a bit of a local celebrity thanks to his charitable and inspirational running exploits over the last 20 years.
But Sunday’s marathon will be his last as he concentrates his time on caring for Lily, his wife of 53 years, and his other great passion – competing in triathlons.
He may be handing over his wealth of marathon running experience to some of Milton Keynes’ younger guns, but he still enjoys pushing his body to the limits, and will take part in the Olympic distance Windsor Triathlon in June.
McKellar rarely has a break from running – indeed the big race on Sunday comes only a week after he completed his 20th London Marathon in a time of five hours, 31 minutes.
He has described finishing that as the greatest highlight of his remarkable running career, and there have been quite a few.
But he says Sunday will be just as memorable as he hits MK’s roads with plenty of his club-mates, and of course wife Lily will see him finish for the first time at stadium:mk.
McKellar is a very humble man and always keen to pass on his thanks to all those who have supported him over the years, and for donating to the charities that are close to his heart – most significantly Help For Heroes, having spent four years in the Royal Air Force.
“I can’t thank the club, the local community in MK, and Corley Cycles – who sponsor me in my triathlon – enough for their incredible support,” he said.
“I’ve lived here for 25 years and to run my final marathon in Milton Keynes is going to be fantastic, especially with my Lily there.
“After running in London I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it on Sunday, but after receiving so much support and encouragement I’m going to do it.”