Ultra Marathon great Don Ritchie has died at age 73

During a long and successful running career Don Ritchie broke numerous world bests over distances from 50km to 200km and in races ranging from six to 24 hours. Born in Aberdeenshire in 1944, Ritchie started out as a 440 yards runner with Aberdeen Amateur Athletic Club in 1962 – the beginning of what would turn into a 48-year running career, alongside a career as a teacher. He later ran for Birchfield Harriers and then Forres Harriers and Moray Road Runners. It was in 1977, aged 33, that Ritchie – whose marathon PB was 2:19:34 – discovered his strength for ultra-distance running. In 1978 at Crystal Palace, Ritchie covered 100km in an incredible 6 hours, 10 minutes and 20 seconds. In 1989 he ran from John O’Groats to Land’s End – 844 miles – in 10 days, 15 hours and 25 minutes, raising money for Cancer Research.   Past editor of Road Runners Club Magazine, Dave Cooper, said: “The quiet man from Elgin has been a great ambassador for the sport for many years and his superb array of world record performances and steely determination on road and track is in sharp contrast to his modest self-effacing demeanour.  

posted Sunday June 17th
by Athletics Weekly