Here’s a tribute to Ron, courtesy of Trevor.
Ron Reed was invited to join Wilmslow Running Club in the early 1990s by Tony Hulme, after he had met him out running several times in Styal woods. His son, Ken Reed, also joined. Being born in September 1926, Ron was the oldest in the Club, but rapidly became a very fast runner for his age, becoming known as “Rocket Ron”. He would frequently win his age category in local races. Indeed, many Club records are still held by Ron. He was also a really good Club member, representing the Club in many local road races from 5K to Half Marathon, in cross country races in the Liverpool-based North West Sunday League, the Cheshire League and occasionally in the then Manchester and District League, and in several local fell races that the Club entered. He was also regular at training on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Examples of his early races include:
- 1993 Wilmslow Half Marathon: 1.34.05
- 1993 Sale 10: 71.43
- 1994 Four Villages Half Marathon: 1.35.48
- 1994 St.James’ School 10K: 43.07
Despite being 16 years older than me, we used to run at similar speeds, and usually finished within a minute of each other, whatever the distance. Consequently, we would drive to many local races together: probably dozens of times for ten years from about 1994.
Ron was a lovely, unassuming, reliable, man who was always supporting other runners. I remember when we did the Flint 10, we agreed to run gently for two miles, then push hard for the last eight miles. We kept together as planned, and then Ron kept encouraging me to keep up as he sprinted away in the last 200 metres.
One of his later races was the 2004 Chester Spring 5. At the age of 77, he finished in the amazing time of 42.28. Ron ran the 2006 Wilmslow Half Marathon at the age of 79, when he finished 3rd V70 in 2.16.30. The Club celebrated his 80th birthday, with his cheerful wife Margaret, at a gathering at Ken’s house on 9 September 2006 (see photos).
He entered the 2007 WHM, when Malcom gave him the race number 80, and I saw him safely to the front line at the start to increase his chance of a V70+ place (see photos taken before the start).
Unfortunately, but perhaps for the only time in any race, he was unable to finish. (I was given number 1, because I was the first to send in an entry form!). However, Ron entered again in 2008, when he did finish the race. He seems to have been the only runner ever to have finished the Wilmslow HM over the age of 80.
With Ron’s sad passing, there is one less of the early members of Wilmslow Running Club. He will remain happily in the memory of those who remember when we used to change in one then two of the front changing rooms and several large groups used to set off for a hard run on Thursday evenings.