Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Balls 'humbled' by pensioner runner

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls trains in Westminster with 85-year-old Iva Barr

Ed Balls has said he is "humbled" by one of his fellow London Marathon runners - an 85-year-old who will be the oldest woman in this year's race.

The 46-year-old shadow chancellor will take to the streets on April 21, raising money for charities Action for Stammering Children and Whizz-Kidz.

He appeared alongside 85-year-old Iva Barr, who is also running for Whizz-Kidz, to help reach his fundraising target of £100,000 over two years of London Marathons.

"I'm humbled that Iva is running it at 85," Mr Balls said. "I think she's a bit faster than me as well."

But Ms Barr brushed off the attention around her age.

"I always find it (the attention) amazing because I just get out there and do what I like doing and I can't understand what all the fuss is about, but I love it.

"Why would I stop? I kept well, I didn't get injuries because I don't go fast, so there you go."

Mr Balls also responded to a jibe from fellow Labour frontbencher Jim Murphy, who said he could beat the shadow chancellor's time while carrying him on his back.

"Jim Murphy has offered to carry me on his back and still do a faster time than me and if things get a bit tough around mile 14, I might have to take him up on his offer," Mr Balls joked.

He is hoping to drum up around £30,000 in sponsorship to add to the £70,000 from his previous attempt.

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