It’s always good to set ourselves targets, especially when they help bring about some positive change. John Farmer agrees; he turned 70 in March, which he used as an excuse to walk 70 miles in aid of Age UK, a charity close to his heart.
The passing of the baton
John took his inspiration from another figure who embraced impressive feats in older age. Bruce Tulloh was a celebrated long-distance runner. Not only did he win the European title in the men’s 5,000 metres at the 1982 European championships, seven years later he ran across the US, from Los Angeles to New York, in 64 days. But he wasn't done there.
“In the build up to my birthday, I happened to hear about Bruce’s 80-mile walk when he turned 80,” says John of Bruce – who died last year – and his trek from his home in Marlborough, Wiltshire to London.
“I thought 70-miles for my 70th sounded about right for me,” says John of his own route, which started in his native Huddersfield.
Why John chose to walk for Age UK
“It was an opportunity to do something challenging, and do it in memory of my mum and my mum-in-law, who struggled in later life,” says John, having completed the trek at Derby County FC’s home ground, Pride Park. “I saw two people close to me, two very admirable people, encounter difficulties which needed support. They got that support, but loads of people struggle to find that support. Raising money for Age UK [is] helping people who haven’t got the resources others have.”
Words of encouragement
John managed to raise an incredible £1,525 for Age UK, which will help us to be there for vulnerable older people. “Anyone thinking of doing this sort of thing should give it a try,” suggests John. Watch our video above to share his experience. And who knows? Perhaps it will inspire a journey of your own?
Fundraise your way for Age UK
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