VETERAN runner Brian Symonds, from Tillington, has qualified to represent England after victory at the English Athletics Masters Half Marathon Championship in Hull.

Symonds, aged 76, who competes for Wye Valley Runners, needed to finish the 13.1 miles in under two and a half hours and in the top four of the over 75 age group category as well to qualify.

An improving Symonds cruised home in an incredible one hour and fifty three minutes - 37 minutes ahead of qualifying pace and second in his age category.

Following confirmation from England Athletics, the veteran runner is now eagerly awaiting his England Athletics vest ready to take on veteran runners from around the world.

He said: “I didn’t take up running until well in to my 60s. But it’s changed my life. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been and get so much out of the sport.

"I love the social aspect of running with my club mates at Wye Valley Runners and would encourage everyone to give it a go.”

Symonds plans to get ready for his international debut on September 1, at Maidenhead Half Marathon Championship by training hard for the Herefordshire Summer Cross Country League over the coming months.