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Saturday, 12 July 2014

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Carlisle pensioner's 25-mile challenge for cancer charity

An 80-year-old retired policeman set off with a spring in his step as he navigated several circuits of Talkin Tarn.

Gordon Melvin photo
Gordon Melvin

Gordon Melvin, from Carlisle, was inspired to take on a 25 mile trek by his granddaughter, who completed a few laps of the tarn with classmates from Richard Rose Central Academy on an annual outing.

After an early start at 7.30am yesterday, Gordon remained in good spirits – if a little sore in the legs.

He was going to celebrate his success with a long, hot bath, he said.

Gordon was accompanied at times by wife Rhoda – who described him as a ‘man who likes a challenge’ – and brother-in-law Stuart Roberts, who counted the laps and also put his best foot forward from time to time.

Other friends and family also dropped by during the course of the day to offer some moral support to Gordon on his 20 trips around the tarn, near Brampton.

Gordon said the secret to his good health was stopping smoking and not drinking too much – and he didn’t rule out doing something similar again next year.

“Providing my body is still up to it!” he said.

Gordon hopes his 25-mile trek will raise £500 for Macmillan Cancer Nurses.

He decided to raise money for them because so many people are affected by cancer.

Yesterday’s trip was not the first time he had raised money for the charity. Seven years ago, he ran his first 10k race – in Cyprus – and came third in the over 70s challenge.

He and Rhoda have been married for almost 57 years and have three children and five grandchildren.

Since retiring, he has been keeping himself fit with regular walks – often to be seen trekking along Carlisle’s new bypass or even out to Burgh by Sands.

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