105-year marathon fundraiser plans to celebrate MBE with champagne



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The 105-year-old, who ran a marathon to raise money for charity projects to celebrate with champagne after receiving a royal honor, adding: “I think I deserved it”.

Ruth Saunders, of Newbury, Berkshire, was appointed MBE after traveling 26.2 miles to raise money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

The centenarian has raised over £ 39,000, far exceeding her initial goal of £ 500.

She said she felt “excited” to receive this honor and “relaxed” in the awe-inspiring surroundings of Windsor Castle.

Ruth was 104 when she crossed the finish line at Newbury Racecourse (Ben Birchall / PA) / AP Archives

It was his second visit to the royal palace, but the first in around 85 years.

When Ms Saunders was 19 and a member of the Red Cross, she was introduced to Princess Mary, daughter of George V, and recalled: “There were many of us. I was the second because I was a Lance Corporal at the time.

“And the Princess Royal, the first Princess Royal, came on the line and chatted with the Chief and me.

“And she had the most perfect blue eyes, I always remember. And so this is my second experience to come to Windsor Castle.

She said the current Princess Royal, who presented the honors on Wednesday, seemed impressed with her charitable efforts.

After Anne asked her if she had any future plans, Ms Saunders said she wanted to raise more money next year.

“I’m going to do what I can next time,” she said, explaining that she wasn’t going to set a specific goal but was hoping to do more laps in February 2022 when the weather might be. to be improved.

Ms Saunders began her daily walks near her Newbury home, aiming to cover 104 blocks to match her age at the time (Steve Parsons / PA) / AP Archives

She said her granddaughter in France initiated the marathon challenge.

Ms Saunders said: “She laughed and said ‘if I can run a marathon’ – because she could – ‘you can walk a marathon’.

“And the glove was thrown away. And so I did.

She added that the secret to her long life is exercise, lots of vegetables, and limiting her intake of alcohol and junk food.

“When I walked my leg got better and my body looked better and I was doing really well and feeling great. So it’s exercise that does a lot of things, ”she said.

“I don’t drink a lot. I only have one glass of something – champagne.

“I like vegetables and I eat any vegetable. I don’t stuff myself with cakes or chocolate. I will have a little, but not too much.

Oh her champagne-fueled celebration plans, Ms Saunders said, “They might say ‘go on, take another one.” I think I deserved it today.


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