Marathon man David Phillips has come to the end of his massive journey by completing his 500th marathon.
David, aged 75, who lives in Claverdon and has run an accountancy firm based in Kenilworth for more than 40 years, completed his final marathon on April 28 at the Stratford Marathon.
Reaching 500 marathons was not David’s only goal. Over the years he has been running in support of the Brain and Spine Foundation and set himself the target of raising £100,000 for the charity. He managed to hit this target in 2017 and set his sights on raising £125,000, which he surpassed to raise over £130,000.
David said: “It was great running with my daughter. She’d done the Stratford Marathon with me before and the London Marathon.
“It took us just over six hours. It was a really good day because of the support, the organisers and because there were lots of people there.
“There were three of us from the Brain and Spine Foundation in ‘Team Phillips’ and I managed to raise £13,000 so I managed to get my total to £130,000 for the charity.
“When we were towards the end a lot of people from my running club, the Massey Ferguson Runners (Coventry), went out and family had also come down and friends had come down and this lot all ran with us from the last hundred yards. It was bedlam.
“There were also a lot of people there for the party afterwards in Cox’s Yard.
“The whole day was a super occasion – I am so glad it went well and that I had no injuries.”
David ran his first marathon in 1982 in Coventry and has taken part in ones across the globe.
Reflecting on his achievement David recalls his favourite marathon. He said: “My favourite marathon is probably the one around Snowdonia National Park. It’s just spectacular scenery.
"Even if you’re driving around that area you think it’s wonderful but in the marathon you get to go places were cars can’t go and it’s just beautiful.
“The most spectacular one I faced was the one I did in Cairo. We started at the Pyramids and went past the Sphinx and into Cairo. There were kids chucking camel dung at you which was surprising.
“It was a spectacular marathon but I wouldn’t recommend it.”
Talking about the toughest marathon David said: “I think the toughest was the one I did off-road in the Black Mountains in Wales. I got hypothermia and I got lost – I didn’t have a clue where I was. There was a point where I thought ‘I’ve had it’.
"Luckily a walker came past me and dragged me back on course. It turned out that I was about two or three miles off course.”
Despite claiming he was finished with marathons, David will be taking on the Snowdonia Marathon in October. He said: “I had already signed up to the Snowdonia Marathon so it seemed a shame to waste my place but going forward I will be doing more half marathons and smaller runs.
“I have a half marathon coming up in Germany and there are a lot locally coming up.”