Belfast Telegraph

OAP who's doing things by half

By Donna Deeney

The sight of his wife waiting at the finishing line is the inspiration for one man taking part in the Waterside Half Marathon - but that's not the only thing.

Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of the gruelling Londonderry run - and grandfather- of-seven Danny Sherrin has taken part in every single one.

Danny, who has raised thousands of pounds for charity over the years, has become such a familiar face at the finish line, he has been christened Derry's 'Running Man'.

Now a sprightly 66-year-old, Danny has never forgotten the first time he slipped on his running shoes and hit the streets of the Waterside for those 13 tough miles.

"I never thought I would be still running 30 years after that first time, but here I am and now I can't imagine not taking part," he said.

"Running changes your whole way of looking at things - it makes you alert, focused and makes you realise you can achieve anything."

While lesser mortals can only imagine what it would be like to keep running for 13 miles, Danny said inspiration to keep going can be found along the way.

"Even from the very first year having the spectators call encouragement to you can spur you on. But now I am a bit of a regular face and people have gotten to know my name and even watch for me," said the pensioner.

But for romantic Danny, there is one special reason to make it to the end of the race.

"If I had to single out one thing that means more to me than everything else, it's the sight of my wife Rose waiting for me at the finishing line," said Danny.

He added: "It has become so much a part of who I am now that my whole family call me the Running Man, and my grandchildren think it's great to see granda running."

Factfile

The Waterside Half Marathon is a major source of income for charity. Each year the cause is chosen by the mayor of Derry. This year the chosen charities are Children in Crossfire and Foyle Search and Rescue, but one of the most common charities to benefit is the Foyle Hospice - a cause close to Danny Sherrin's heart.

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