Meet David Turner – Hemel’s flying, running septugenarian fund-raiser who has just completed his latest racing challenge for charity.
Mr Turner, who lives in St Johns Road, tackled the BUPA 10k in London in aid of the Europe-based charity St Josephs & The Helpers.
And as well as finishing the course in one hour 12 minutes the 78-year-old has also raised around £1,000 for the charity.
His friend Tom Conlon told the Express: “David is a eccentric in the best sense of the word, a real one-off.
“He only started running at the age of 67, but he has completed two of the last three London Marathons.
“David is from Scotland originally but he is really well known in Hemel – the sort of person who nobody forgets once you’ve met him.
“He came to church to collect sponsorship money for the race, and he ran through the church in his full running gear. I was with him and could barely keep up with taking down the names and the GiftAid details from everyone who wanted to donate.
“He flies a light aircraft too, and has been doing so for decades. To keep his licence he has to do a certain number of flights every year, and when I went to Denham Aerodrome with him it was obvious that everybody knew him.”
St Josephs & The Helpers was founded to help the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina to recover from the Yugoslav wars.
Mr Conlon said: “He got involved with the charity after it was founded by the brother of one of his friends.
“The charity has set up orphanages, opened homes for OAPs and provided people with prosthetic limbs.
“Every single penny from the charity goes to people in need, and the directors pay all the administrative costs like postage or printing themselves.”
Mr Conlon added: “David got involved because he understood that there were people in need – that’s the kind of man he is.
“But he is also involved with fundraising for local causes, like the St Mary & Joseph’s Church Building Fund In Boxmoor.”