Grandmother calls time on marathon career


An 82-year-old Merton woman who has raised thousands of pounds for charity is giving up marathon running


By Dominic Sutton

A Merton grandmother who raised thousands of pounds for charity is finally giving up marathon running at the age of 82.

Doreen Offredi’s running club, The Wimbledon Windmilers, have received an allocation of entries for next year’s London Marathon, but Doreen won’t be putting her name down.

“My days of marathon running are over,” she said. “I’ve done about 20 now and I think I’ve had enough.”

But Doreen, who has raised money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and Help A London Child, will be staying active.

She belly dances, is a regular practitioner of Tai Chi and still runs 11 miles a week.

Her next big challenge is a 10k race in Barcelona on New Year’s Eve which she will train for over the festive season.

“I’ll be at home with my family on Christmas Day, but I’ll do a four mile run on Boxing Day,” she said.

“I’m really looking forward to Barcelona, I might even run in my belly dancing belt!”

Doreen only started running at 58 to prove her late husband wrong.

“I saw the marathon on TV,” she said.

“I said to my husband ‘I could do that’, but he just laughed and said ‘you can’t go running at your age’.

“I just turned round and said ‘you watch me’ and I’ve been running ever since.”

Doreen is a familiar face to those who go running in Merton and is one of Wimbledon Windmilers’ longest-standing members.

Windmilers spokesman Jeff Hoadley says everyone at the running club is in awe of her.

“She hasn’t let age stop her from running long distances,” he said. “She is a tough and determined runner and an inspiration to us all.”

Doreen takes all the accolades in her stride, though.

“Running isn’t hard,” she said. “You just put one foot in front of the other.

“I’d tell anyone thinking of taking it up to get out there and do it!”

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