Why marathon man Richard is smiling

PUBLISHED: 13:09 19 November 2008 | UPDATED: 22:39 15 June 2010

Richard Harris with his medal.

Richard Harris with his medal.

Copyright Archant Ltd

HONITON businessman Richard Harris has marked his 50th birthday by completing two marathons, in London and New York.

HONITON businessman Richard Harris has marked his 50th birthday by completing two marathons, in London and New York.Mr Harris, who owns Honiton Garage, has just returned from America where he knocked 20 minutes off his time in the Flora London Marathon to cross the finish line in New York in 10,012th place.Out of 39,600 competitors, he had lined up in 26,936th position.His mother, carnival president Myrtle Harris, and elder brother Peter, who lives in Minneapolis, cheered him along at the 16-mile mark."It's probably better they saw me then and not at 26 miles!" joked Mr Harris as he showed off his new medal and other keepsakes from New York.He finished the London Marathon in four hours and 13 minutes, but managed to complete the run in New York in three hours and 51 minutes."After the London Marathon, I joined Honiton Running Club," he said. "They were brilliant, giving me lots of advice and generally helping me to get fitter."It's the last six miles of a marathon that I find tough."Spurring him on was the Children with Leukaemia charity, which he has supported at both marathons. Sponsorship raised through friends and customers is likely to total £4,700 - £1,500 of that from the New York Marathon.Mrs Harris and Peter Harris joined the charity's cheering squad in New York."When I was looking for a charity to support, my opinion was that I have been fortunate to get to 50 without ever being ill in my life. I wanted to run for a children's charity," said Mr Harris."Children with Leukaemia gives money for research, but also helps families who have children with leukaemia. Thanks to research, leukaemia is no longer a death sentence.

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