ACCRINGTON running legend Ron Hill is coming home tomorrow as he clocks up another achievement in his illustrious career.
The 69-year-old will do two laps of Accrington Stanley tomorrow before their clash with Shrewsbury to make it a staggering 150,000 miles - which is six times around the world - since he started logging his miles in 1956.
Ron, who now lives in Hyde, is one of Great Britain’s greatest distance runners with his heydey in the late 1960s/70s.
Then, the former Springhill Primary School pupil took part in three Olympics, won a European Gold marathon medal in Athens and ran his fastest marathon - taking gold in the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games in 1970 in two hours nine minutes and 28 seconds.
Ron, who has done 115 marathons, has kept notes of all his achievements and last missed a day’s training in 1964 - that’s 43 years of running every day.
"I have all the records and have totalled the miles up. The ones which are quite battered now are the golden years of 1969-71 as I like to look back at them," said Ron, who was awarded an MBE for services to running in 1971.
"Then I was doing around 130/140 miles a week, running to work in Droyslden and back to Hyde.
"It isn’t like the professional athletes of today but I am pleased to say that no one in Britain has beaten my 1970 time.
"And to become the first ever Britain to win the Boston marathon was a huge achievement.
"I am still number 10 on the list of Great British distance runners and I am really proud of that achievement.
"Then there were no pacemakers -the running was eye balls out and the last one who was still there, won the race. It was as simple as that. There wasn’t really tactics or anything like that."
Even after his golden years, Ron - who still competes for Clayton-le-Moor Harriers - never stopped running or totting up his miles.
"When I reached 100,000 miles in 1985 I ran around Old Trafford. I remember Manchester United were playing West Ham or someone like that and I got booed by the away fans. It didn’t worry me!
"But it is great to recognise 150,000 miles around Accrington Stanley and go back to my roots.
"I used to go there as a young lad with my dad and stood on Peel Park.
"I wanted to come back to where it all began as my first run on my log was from the old Accrington Grammar School, which I went to, to Oswaldtwistle.
"I am doing a three mile run before the game and the two laps - the last half a mile - will take me to exactly 150,000 miles."
Ron’s next achievement is to race in 100 countries by the time he is 70 next September.
"I have done 98 so far, the last one being Uruguay, and I have enjoyed most of the races.
"I won a cross country in Normandy in France for three years running in the 1960s and I remember racing in Cambodia with the sun rising. It has been a great experience.
"I still have a choice of countries left in Albania, Vietnam, India and Belarus so I am working on my final two races next year."
Ron has competed in 26 races this year and has no plans to hang up his running shoes.
"I love just going out, on my own, keeping fit and taking in the surroundings.
"Luckily I have kept in reasonable shape and tend to do 30 miles a week.
"People say I am obsessed and maybe so but it is a big motivation to hit 150,000. It has kept me running.
"At times I have almost been killed - I broke my sternum in two places in a head on car crash in Yorkshire in 1993 but I managed to hobble a mile the next day.
"I have just kept it going since 1964 and it keeps me positive and makes me determined.
"I have been lucky and it is nice to come home to Accrington and remember that.
"And now I want reach 250,000km!"