Manchester

Running legend Ron Hill awarded Freedom of Tameside

Ron Hill with certificate awarded for Freedom of the Borough of Tameside Image copyright Tameside Council
Image caption Ron Hill is now an honorary freeman of Tameside

A former Olympian who completed a 52-year running streak of at least one mile every single day has been awarded the Freedom of Tameside.

Ron Hill MBE ran in the 1964 and 1972 Olympics and became the first Briton to win the Boston Marathon in 1970.

He also found fame for his half century-long feat of daily running, which ended in 2017.

The 81-year-old said the award "shows that being active for so long was worth every mile I ran".

Hill, who also won marathon gold medals at the European Championships in 1969 and the 1970 Commonwealth Games, said he was left feeling "so proud".

"Especially as I have spent most of my working and running life in Tameside," he continued.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ron Hill was appointed MBE in 1971

Born in Accrington, Hill began his 52-year challenge on 20 December 1964.

Two years earlier, the distance recorded in his logbook added up to 160,000 miles - the equivalent of running around the world more than six times.

Away from the track he established Ron Hill Sports in September 1970, pioneering use of synthetic fabrics in sportswear following a career as a textile chemist.

He also launched the Tour of Tameside, a double marathon run in six stages, in 1981, which was re-launched in a modified format in 2015.

The octogenarian already has a street in his home town named after him - Ron Hill Way - and was given the Freedom of Accrington in 2012.

Council leader Brenda Warrington said she was "proud" to recognise the "internationally renowned" athlete and "successful businessman" who was "thoroughly deserving" of the award.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ron Hill represented Great Britain in the marathon at the 1972 Munich Olympics

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