“My father was an alcoholic. He used to beat us up regularly, so there wasn’t too much happiness at home. I started walking simply because I didn’t want to be in the house. My parents were together for 40 years, but people never knew what was really going on. He was a completely different person outside. My brother and sister both married and moved out quickly, and I didn’t want to leave my mother alone with him, so I stayed. I was 50 when he died, but my mother died long before him. He was a heavy drinker almost all his life, yet he died of skin cancer. I struggled on and off with depression, and when he died everything was suddenly calm. I still suffer with it from time to time, but I walk it off. I walk at least four or five hours a day, and on Sundays I walk into town and back. You have to prepare yourself for marathons somehow, you know? I’ve done fifteen of them now, but I’ve yet to double that figure!”

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