Lowestoft man who has completed every London Marathon
- Credit: Nick Butcher
For many of us, one marathon is one too many.
But for 73-year-old Charles Cousens, the running just keeps on coming.
He is part of an exclusive group of 12 men who have taken part in every London Marathon since the event began in 1981.
Tomorrow he, and fellow members of the so-called 'Ever Present' club, will take part in their 36th consecutive race.
A comparatively late starter, he did not run his first marathon until his mid 30s.
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'I never did any football, cricket or athletics – absolutely nothing until I was 36,' Mr Cousens, more commonly known as Len, said. 'I wish I would have started earlier, I might have been good then,' he joked.
After joining in a few runs with colleagues, Mr Cousens – of Hubbard's Loke in Gunton, near Lowestoft – completed the 1979 Masters and Maidens marathon in Guildford, before embarking on the London Marathon in 1981.
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He was 38 years old when he lined up for the first event, which saw about 7,000 other runners take part.
Since then he has completed about 50 marathons in total, also running in Paris, New York, Berlin and Barbados.
Perhaps naturally, he has found it tougher as the years have ticked by.
'The older you get the trickier it gets, but I think I will manage to hack round it,' Mr Cousens added.
'It's quite amazing to be a part of this elite group.'
He has owned Len's Loft barbers shop in Beccles for the past 15 years.
He has been married to his wife Maureen for 49 years. She has completed two London Marathons herself, in 1984 and 1987.
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