ROYTON Road Runner Ronnie Quinn has celebrated an England call-up at the age of 69.
And there was no one prouder than Ronnie when he finally pulled on his vest for the recent Kew Gardens 10K in London.
Watched by wife, Christine and children, Liam and Gemma, he completed the course in 44 minutes 32 seconds – recording the fourth fastest time in his age group.
Ronnie, from Chadderton, originally qualified for international selection two years ago when clocking 44:15 in his age category at the Salford 10K.
RRR member Gary Smith said of his club mate: “I first met Ronnie when I joined the Runners in 2013.
“As a Run leader, he always encouraged both me and any new runners to run with his group and up their pace, finding words of encouragement between talking about his beloved Everton.
“For a time, I was faster than Ronnie but he was always coming back, and I think he is actually quicker than he was five years ago.
“That’s proof advancing years is no barrier to improving your running, You just need determination.
Due to the pandemic and lockdown, Ronnie lost the opportunity to train with his clubmates but continued his preparations to represent England Athletic running solo on various routes each morning.
He also had to contend with a troublesome hernia that was eventually operated on but meant an enforced recuperation of six weeks.
Once Ronnie started training again, he picked up his whistle and refereed Oldham schools and weekend football matches which helped maintain his speed and fitness.
The Kew Gardens 10K was run on a flat course in ideal sunny conditions – different from going up Buckstones Road on a cold dark winter’s morning!