Man, 85, who's run every London Marathon since it began says next year will be his last as he passes on tips

  • Ken Jones's top tips for a successful London Marathon and long life

An 85-year-old man who has run every London Marathon since the event was launched in 1981 has given his top tips for a successful run and a healthy life.

Ken Jones, who lives in Strabane, Northern Ireland, is one of the 11 remaining Ever Presents preparing for the 39th London Marathon where he will be the oldest runner.

He says next year will be his last race but luckily he's passing on his secrets to the next generation of runners.

He told ITV News the best thing to do is "not rush into it" and run in groups because "they'll encourage you and you'll make a lot of friends".

Mr Jones, who has a personal best of two hours 55 minutes, says the second half of a marathon is "mind over matter".

Ken Jones has run 38 London Marathons. Credit: PA

"When you start a race, never give up. You get to that 24, 25 miles, keep going, you know you're going to get the medal," he said.

Another of his favourite tips is to not drink any alcohol at all, "because you can't run the next day" and don't over-eat as "you'll never run a marathon with a big belly".

Mr Jones, who will be 86 on May 19, walks around the country lanes near his home four times a week and swims three times a week which he said has helped him to avoid injury.

He has been doing four-hour walks every Saturday for around six weeks to prepare for Sunday's Virgin Money London Marathon and will be doing the same next year.

"I want to do it next year. I have got to make it next year, get the 40. That's long enough," he said.

This year he will be the oldest runner competing in the London Marathon. Credit: PA

"This as the 39th year that I have done it. In the old days I used to run very fast. I used to get under three hours."

"Now it will be seven hours. I got slower and slower and slower and now I just walk."

Mr Jones will be accompanied by his daughter - who has run the London Marathon once before - during Sunday's event.