A RISHTON man has clocked up thousands of miles after flying over the pond to take part in the New York Marathon.
Colin Cooper, of Thornhill Avenue, competed in the famous race at the weekend to mark his 70th birthday.
He is a veteran marathon runner, having taken part in the London Marathon six times, but this is the first time that he has taken on the challenge in the Big Apple.
Colin, who is secretary of the Rishton Prospects Panel, completed the race from Statten Island to Central Park in five hours and 17 minutes.
He said: "It was bit tough. It was quite a hilly course and we crossed the river five times, so we had to negotiate the bridges which are up and down. It was a very warm day so I was really pleased with my time.
"The support from the locals was great - akin to London. Everyone wanted to support you and tell you how well you were doing even if you felt awful. The atmosphere was great."
Colin arrived in New York on Friday and celebrated his birthday the following day before taking part in the race on Sunday and leaving for England on Monday afternoon.
During his time in New York, Colin took the opportunity to take in the sights, and said he thoroughly enjoyed his stay.
He added: "I went on a three-hour boat cruise around Manhattan Island and I did quite a lot of walking around, looking at the sites - Broadway, 5th Avenue, 42nd Street and night-time in Times Square. It was quite something. It's a very nice place."
Colin also took the opportunity to visit Ground Zero and witness some of the regeneration work that is taking place in the area, and he took part in a number of official race events.
He said: "On Saturday morning we had a friendship run for all of the overseas competitors.
"We assembled at the United Nations building and ran four miles to Central Park, where we had breakfast, and on Saturday evening there was a big party in Central Park which was a good chance to mix with other runners."
He said he was overjoyed when he learned of Paula Radcliffe's victory, shortly after completing the course himself.
Colin ran the race in aid of Newfield School, Blackburn and Derian House, Chorley. He has not calculated the exact amount raised but it is thought to be over £1,000.
Although Colin enjoyed his New York experience, he has no plans to do the race again.