A GRANDFATHER has vowed to keep on running after completing his 1,000th competitive race.

Sandy Wallace crossed the finish line at the Lochend Woods parkrun in Dunbar on New Year’s Day to reach the milestone.

But the 73-year-old, who has been competing in organised running events for more than 40 years, has no plans to hang up his running shoes just yet.

When the Courier asked him last week if he planned to stop, he replied: “Not at all – I have been out already this morning!

“I am out most days but I am getting slower; I don’t want to get slower but that just happens.

“I will keep going.

“There are a few people out there my age and I will keep going for as long as I can.”

The North Berwick resident has taken on marathons, road races and trail events, as well as cross-country and hill races, throughout Scotland and abroad.

Looking back on his list of achievements, the former engineer with City of Edinburgh Council cited the New York Marathon, the Ben Nevis hill race and the local John Muir Ultra Marathon as among his favourites.

The grandfather-of-two said: “I have always known roughly how many runs I have done but it was probably the middle of last year that I knew I was getting up near 1,000 and started counting them up.

“On the day at Dunbar, I got a mention.

“There is a briefing for the runners at the beginning and I got a mention and a cheer.

“I have had lots of comments and congratulations on social media.

“On average, each of the runs have been about five miles.

“A lot of them will be shorter and a lot will be longer.

“That’s 5,000 miles but I have got to say there will be an awful lot of running miles between the races.

“I am out most days and that total has got to be in the tens of thousands.”

Sandy, who is a member of Haddington Running Club, revealed that he had tried various forms of exercise in his early thirties, with running proving to be a favourite.

He said: “I’ve been lucky over the years and suffered no serious injuries, although I am getting a bit slower as I get older.

“The winter is the time for cross-country running and I’ll be out there in the muddy fields running against generally a lot younger athletes but also a few in the same age category as me.”

Running is an activity which ‘runs’ in the family.

The father-of-four’s wife, Claire, and two of his older sons, Scott and Neil, also take part in a variety of races.

He says he has no plans to retire from running and no particular targets for the future, apart from keeping on running and competing, and bringing home the occasional age grade trophy.

He told the Courier: “I enjoy getting out in the fresh air, keeping fit, keeping healthy and running with other people.

“I have got an awful lot of running friends, where we run together and have a chat.”