A SPORTS lover has celebrated his 80th birthday in unusual style... by running a marathon and raising £380 for the NHS.

Kenneth George Walsh, who has had three hip replacements, ran 26.2 miles, or about 945 lengths of the Malting Wharf’s car park in Manningtree, to mark his milestone birthday on Tuesday.

He started running at 8am in the morning and finished his quest in six hours and 36 minutes.

Mr Walsh, who has ran about 30 marathons in the past 30 years, has also raised £380 for the NHS as part of his birthday challenge.

The money will be donated to Colchester Hospital.

Mr Walsh said: “I promised myself I would complete a marathon this year to mark my birthday.

“I would have done it anyway, but this way I’ve got more motivation.

“It was all about finishing it.

“I never stopped, when I wasn’t running, I was walking and I kept going at all times.”

The 80-year-old, who only picked up running when he was 40, said he went out for long walks during the week to give his body a rest, but will start running again from today, Saturday.

 “I feel good, the body is good, still in a good shape, but the feet are a bit sore,” he added.

The inspirational pensioner has also set his sights on running 1,000 miles in 40 days - the equivalent of almost 40 consecutive marathons.

On the day of his marathon he was supported by his friends and people he used to work with, many of whom have travelled from Ipswich and Southend.

Many Manningtree residents also turned up with their families to cheer Mr Walsh on.

Mr Walsh was born on May 12, 1940, in Hackney, but moved to Manningtree in 1976 and has two daughters, Rachel and Justine.

People who wish to support his cause can donate by visiting bit.ly/2WzrsrH.