ONE of the biggest cheers of the day as Sheffield staged its half marathon was for blind Second World War veteran Eric Cooper, aged 86, who ran the associated 3k fun run in his old Sherwood Foresters’ regimental uniform.
Guided by Sue Coggin, of Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind, he received a rapturous response as he jogged along the track at Don valley Stadium with a white stick.
Eric, who lives in Crookes and lost a stone following pneumonia earlier this year, said: “My motto is, if you rest you rust.”
He was raising money for one of the half marathon’s chosen charities, the Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind.
He said afterwards: “I really enjoy the fun run and it’s great meeting all the people – it’s such a happy atmosphere running for many good causes across the city.
“I have been raising money for the SRSB for around 25 years – they’re lovely people I work with at the charity and it was a pleasure running with them on Sunday.”
Sue said there was no stopping Eric.
“I had to stop to tie my shoe laces and he was very cross with me.”
Fun run entries reached an all-time high of 685, with many entrants wearing fancy dress.
A total of 5,500 people entered the 30th Sheffield half marathon, which started and ended at Don Valley, reaching Hunters Bar roundabout at its furthest point.
Organisers hope to raise £100,000 for ten charities.
lMarathon round-up, page 41.