71-year-old farmer takes on London marathon challenge

Mervin Mullard is many things – a farmer, a grandfather, a fundraiser – and on Sunday (23 April) he’ll become a marathon man as he runs his first London marathon to raise money for the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (Rabi).

Mervin thinks there is little preventing most people from taking on the 26-mile test of endurance. “Just do it,” he says. “After all, you could walk it in six hours.”

To qualify, Mervin had to complete a marathon in under five hours – something he’d never done before.

See also: Help Mervin reach his £1,000 target

“Somebody told me the Liverpool marathon was nice and flat. They lied.

Mervin Mullard

Mervin Mullard © NFU

“But I did it in under the five hours and I hope to do London in less time than that. You just keep going don’t you.”

Mervin’s training regime isn’t too demanding.

“Don’t run too often, but run often enough,” he says. “About once a fortnight should do.

“I started off at about 10 miles, and each time I went out I went a mile farther. That way your body gets used to doing a bit more each time.”

Hailing from the Bishop’s Castle area amid Shropshire’s hill country, Mervin still farms cattle, but not as much as he used too. His grandson is now running his own flock of sheep on the family farm.

The worst weather he’s ever run through is snow, but the only problem it posed, he says, was that it made him slide all the over place. His hopes for London are that it isn’t too hot.

“If you just treat it as another training run you can’t go wrong really.”

So far he has raised £750 on his Justgiving page – but he hopes to top four figures and would welcome any donations.

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