Gorleston runner’s 65km challenge on 65th birthday

A PENSIONER plans to run a kilometre for each year of his life to show his gratitude to a team of dedicated nurses.

David Kelf has set himself the challenge of running 65km on his 65th birthday to raise hundreds of pounds for the palliative care nurses who looked after his father in his final years.

The test of physical endurance and determination is taking place at the Wellesley Running Track, Great Yarmouth, tomorrow.

Joining him on the day is fellow 65-year-old runner, Ira Smith, who hopes to complete his own challenge of running for a solid 10-hour stint.

Meanwhile, a call has been made to keen runners across the county to lace up their trainers, step out on to the track and join the experienced pair for their challenge.

Mr Kelf, a retired hydrographer living in Gorleston whose running name is The Dung Beetle, said: “The biggest challenge will be not wanting to give in because it will become quite painful to keep going at the same pace.

“It is important to eat a little and rest a little, and even when you stop you do not want your muscles to just stiffen up. So finding a balance between resting and running is going to be one of the most difficult things.”

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As well as putting his body to the test in long-distance runs, Mr Kelf was also paramount in creating a punishing marathon in western England.

The Grizzly cross-country run in Devon was designed to test the most hardened athletes with its 20 miles of steep hills and slippery surfaces.

And despite his age, Mr Kelf is still heavily involved in organising the event and taking part in it each year.

He continued: “In a way I have not been doing much training for the event in Great Yarmouth.

“But I always try to keep myself fit. I did an 18-mile run a couple of weeks ago and fell race in the Lake District recently.”

Mr Kelf was brought up in Gorleston and attended a local grammar school before leaving Norfolk to work for the Met Office. He has two sons, Tim, 31, a research physicist, and Robert, 26, who runs a sports centre in Southampton.

All money received on the day will be donated to Palliative Care East.