Ron Hill: Former European and Commonwealth marathon champion dies aged 82on May 23, 2021 at 1:37 pm

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Former European and Commonwealth marathon champion Ron Hill, a two-time Olympian, dies aged 82.

Ron Hill

Hill represented Britain at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and at Munich in 1972.

In 1970 he became the first Briton to win the Boston Marathon, breaking the course record, and won Commonwealth gold the same year in a time of two hours nine minutes 28 seconds.

Hill also ran at least one mile every single day for 52 years and 39 days before ending his streak aged 78.

The Accrington-born athlete ran every day from 20 December 1964 to 31 January 2017 – including after snapping his sternum in a car accident in 1993.

His winning time at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh made him only the second man to break 2:10 for the marathon, and he still ranks as the 12th fastest Briton of all time over the 26.2-mile distance, while his winning time in Boston of 2:10:30 took more than three minutes off the existing course record.

Hill also won marathon gold at the 1969 European Championships.

He later founded a sportswear company, which paid tribute on Sunday to “our founder, our inspiration, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a runner”.

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Ron Hill

Ron Hill

  • Won the English Cross Country Championships in 1966
  • Represented Great Britain in the marathon at the 1964 Tokyo and 1972 Munich Olympics (pictured), though medals eluded him
  • Became the first Briton to win the Boston Marathon in 1970 with a time of 2hrs 10mins 30secs
  • Won gold at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in the same year, recording a time of 2hrs 9mins 28secs
  • Was the first person to use synthetic fabrics in sportswear following a career as a textile chemist, leading him to set up Ron Hill Sports in September 1970
  • Ran every day from 20 December 1964 to 31 January 2017 – even with a snapped sternum following a car crash in 1993 and for six weeks in a plaster cast after an operation on his foot

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