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Health & Fitness Hotelier, 70, to embark on running world record attempt after hip replacement

14:20  24 november  2022
14:20  24 november  2022 Source:   theargus.co.uk

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Neil Kirby from Eastbourne wants to become the first person over 70 to complete a marathon on a treadmill (Image: Neil Kirby) © Provided by The Argus Neil Kirby from Eastbourne wants to become the first person over 70 to complete a marathon on a treadmill (Image: Neil Kirby)

A 70-year-old hotelier will attempt to break a running world record this weekend.

Neil Kirby, who had a full hip replacement only two years ago, is hoping to mark his 70th birthday by becoming the first person over 70 to complete a marathon on a treadmill.

He will be making the attempt outside the Langham Hotel, which he owns, on Eastbourne seafront from 10am on Saturday.

Mr Kirby completed his first marathon in 1981 at the age of 29 and over the span of the last 41 years, he has completed 50 full marathons and 211 half marathons, with personal bests of two hours 53 minutes and one hour 17 minutes, respectively.

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To prepare himself for this latest challenge, Neil is working with students at the University of Brighton’s Eastbourne campus to complete a range of physiological and strength and conditioning assessments and to gain experience on the treadmill.

The sessions took place at the Welkin Physiology Laboratory and the Ward Hall Teaching and Research Gym.

Oli Georgiou, studying for a strength and conditioning Master's at the University of Brighton, and Anya Gough, also studying in Brighton’s School of Sport and Health Sciences for an applied exercise physiology Master's, were among the team testing Neil’s lactate threshold, running economy, lung function, body composition and functional movement.

The Argus: Neil Kirby on the running machine at Brighton University's Eastbourne campus © Provided by The Argus The Argus: Neil Kirby on the running machine at Brighton University's Eastbourne campus Neil Kirby on the running machine at Brighton University's Eastbourne campus (Image: University of Brighton)

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Oli said: “The lactate threshold test was the most important regarding his marathon training as it showed us which speed Neil can maintain without accumulating too much lactate.

“This informed us what speeds he should train at to improve his marathon time and also gave us an insight into predicting what time he will complete the marathon.

“Neil is a nice man with some amazing stories, and the testing experience was extremely beneficial for me to put the theories into practice whilst giving me the opportunity to practise my soft skills as a practitioner.”

Neil said: “This is my 50th marathon – I’m not a novice – but I needed the team’s help to guide me on a treadmill because you can get carried away and go too fast. People may think it’s easier on the treadmill but let me tell you it’s harder than it is running on the road or running on the hills.”

The team will also be monitoring Neil’s running pace, heart rate and nutrition throughout the world record attempt to keep him on track for his goal completion time of four and a half hours.

Anya said: "This is one of the first projects of my Master's degree. It has been a really enjoyable experience and it has been amazing to help Neil try and achieve this goal and raise as much money as possible for an amazing charity."

As well as attempting a world record, Neil is running his treadmill marathon to raise funds for St Wilfred’s Hospice in Eastbourne.

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