Gold medal winner Rod Scholes still runs the track at Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre in Cudworth once a week to ensure he stays in peak physical condition, despite the fact he is now 74 years old.
Ardsley-based Rod (affectionately named Hot Rod by sports centre staff due to his speed and stamina) began running aged 35.
In the 30 years since then he has won a gold medal in the 400m sprint at the British Masters in 2001, and run 21 marathons, including London Marathon at least 6 times and his favourite Huddersfield Marathon at least 3 times. Most recently he has run the Wombwell 10k.
Of his love for running he says: “I enjoy it because of the freedom – you can choose the distance, the time, and can go no matter the weather.”
Previously a primary school teacher, Rod was first introduced to Dorothy Hyman Sports Centre in 1978 when he joined Barnsley Runners. Over the years, Rod has toured the length and breadth of the country competing in runs and making friends along the way.
To stay in peak physical condition, Rod doesn’t smoke or drink and has been a vegetarian since 1973. As well as this, he advises: “Join a group of runners for social engagement. Also, workout the distances that you’re comfortable with and what you enjoy doing, and create a pattern or routine”
Despite being injured several times due to running (most recently at Christmas), he rests to recuperate, which depletes his fitness levels, but continues to get back up and running as soon as he is fit.
Martin Prest, Facility Manger of Dorothy Hyman and Dearneside Leisure Centres said: “Rod is an inspiration to us all. If you have been lucky enough to see him run round the track at Dorothy Hyman, like me, you would be amazed at the athleticism Rod still retains. This is down to his dedication, passion and wonderful will to stay fit in his advancing years. Rod is a superstar!”