Runner Barbara Thackray who at 84 shows no sign of slowing down

Retirement from running is a long way in the distance for 84-year-old grandmother Barbara Thackray, with such a non-stop active lifestyle. 

Barbara, from Altrincham in Manchester, runs 10 kilometres twice a week and has no intention of packing in.

In fact, she is training hard for a local 10k race on Sunday, September 4, when son James will join her in the starting line-up.

However, with his fitness nowhere near Barbara’s level, she has warned him not to slow her down!

Barbara, who only took up running aged 77, is raising money for St Ann’s Hospice where her late sister Audrey was a patient.

“I’ve always supported St Ann’s Hospice and helping them has been an extra motivation to keep running. I know they’re building a new hospice and need funds now more than ever.”  

St Ann’s hospice building in Heald Green is 150 years’ old and through their Build it Together appeal they are raising the final £2million they need to build a new hospice next door to their current building.

Barbara says she is glad she found running as “something that is keeping me fit as I’ve walked all my life”.

She said: “At 84, you can’t afford to lose it. In your 70s you can start new things, but I’m not convinced you can in your 80s, so I didn’t want to risk it.

“I’m a lark and best in the morning, so that’s when I like run, at 6 am or 7 am. The only time I don’t run is if it’s snowing.

“It usually takes me about 90 minutes and I don’t stop or walk at all. I say hello to the deer in Dunham Park which is important to me as I love nature, so I find it healing and inspirational.

Barbara, who worked in education, does 10,000 steps every day. She counts using the running watch she bought with the £25 vouchers she won as the fastest in her age group in the Trafford 10k race.

“I’ve been the only competitor in my age bracket in the annual Trafford 10k race. My message to anyone of a similar age considering starting running is to begin gently and listen to your body. 

To sponsor Barbara visit