Sheffield road planner Les not ready to put feet up

Charity runner Les Crownshaw, of Firbeck, prepares for his John O'Groats to Land's End run. Joining in the training is family pet Elsie.
Charity runner Les Crownshaw, of Firbeck, prepares for his John O'Groats to Land's End run. Joining in the training is family pet Elsie.
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LES Crownshaw may be retired but he’s not putting on his slippers just yet.

The 60-year-old runner has decided to take on the challenge of a lifetime this London Olympics year, after finishing work as a highways planner for Sheffield Council.

Instead of plotting roads he will be pounding them - all the way from John O’Groats in Scotland to Land’s End in Cornwall.

Grandad Les is even taking his wife Jane, 53, and cocker spaniel Elsie along for the near 1,000 mile trip, although they will be picking him up and dropping him off in the car.

He said: “I have wanted to do this since I was a lad really. My dreams were to play at Wembley or do long distance running.

“I took early retirement last year and I pledged to do it when I was 60, which was in February.

“It will take me from May to July and I should finish the 980 miles just before the Olympics.”

Les, a member of Killamarsh Kestrels running club, plans to complete about 20 miles a day through some of the nation’s most stunning countryside.

And he wants to visit landmarks including Ben Nevis, the Pennine Way, the River Severn, the Cotswolds and Cornwall.

Money raised will boost the bank account of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice in North Anston.

Les, of Firbank, Rotherham, said: “I’ve been long distance running ever since I stopped playing football but the furthest I ran was 36 miles in a day.

“I’m really excited about the trip, I can’t wait for the adventure.

“Once I have done this I’ll have to come up with something else.

“When you retire it’s supposed to be about sitting back and putting your feet up - that’s the first thing most people do.

“But I won’t be for a while yet.”

His son Stephen Crownshaw, of Hackenthorpe, Sheffield, said: “We’re really proud of him, especially doing that distance at his age.

“He’s been running for as long as I can remember.”