A VETERAN of the Barnsley Park Run will be taking part for the 100th time today - all while he gears up for his 90th birthday.

Philip Thompson isn’t feeling too worried about the upcoming challenge at Locke Park, however.

“I’m feeling okay about it,” he told the Chronicle.

“I’ve completed 99 already without any problems, so this one should be fine.

“But the emphasis, like with all park runs, is that it’s not a race - you’ve got to take it steady.”

Even at 89, the retired chief executive of Barnsley Council still works out five days a week and is maintaining his fitness for tomorrow’s event.

Yet, this effort isn’t only for personal glory, as he will be running in support of Parkinson’s UK, a charity close to his heart, as he and his wife were founding members of the organisation’s Barnsley branch all the way back in 2002.

“It’s not just about the money,” he added.

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“It’s also about raising publicity and awareness for the charity.

“I only live across the street from Locke Park, so I’m there regularly, which makes it a lot easier to take part.”

Terry Kendall, Barnsley branch chairman for Parkinson’s UK, added: “Philip has been a great ambassador for us - drawing on his professional skills as a senior local government official he has shown great leadership and ensured our policies and procedures are clear and pragmatic.

“Philip has always been a great ‘outdoors man’, devoting his interests to cycling, orienteering and the park run.

“Currently, Philip is our fundraiser, and it comes as no surprise that in his 89th year he is completing his 100th park run and wanting to showcase the event to improve awareness of Parkinson’s disease and to raise funds for the Barnsley and district branch.”

Those wishing to support Philip’s 100th run can donate at barnsleyparkinsons.org.uk.