It was a milestone more than a decade in the making - and certainly one worthy of the guard of honour it received.

On Saturday, former teacher Rodney Freeburn did what he does every week - he put on his running gear and headed to Eaton Park.

But when he crossed the finish line on this occasion, he was met with loud cheers.

For this was not a typical Parkrun for Mr Freeburn - it was his 500th race. 

Eastern Daily Press:

And the achievement is made all the more impressive by the fact the avid Parkrunner is 85 years old.

Since running his first race at the very same park on October 16, 2010, Mr Freeburn has completed Parkruns in 69 different locations, including in Vancouver, Canada, Bologne in France and in Denmark.

But he said Eaton Park will always be his favourite.

He said: "Eaton is my favourite because it's a flat, tarmac race in a beautiful park that is always kept in immaculate condition.

"It was just an awesome experience having everybody applaud me at the finish line."

Of his 69 different runs, he said the notorious sandy route in Great Yarmouth was the toughest.

And with his 500th event under his belt, he says his race is a long way from finished.

"Parkrun is a way of life," he added. "It is great for your fitness and wellbeing because it becomes just a part of your weekly routine. I have also made a great many friends through it.

"It also helps to keep me fit for my main sport - orienteering - which I have done in near enough every country in Europe."

The grandfather-of-two has been a member of the Wymondham Athletics Club since 1986 and has run 42 marathons in his life - the most recent in Belfast when he was 60 years old.