In 2016, more than 68,000 UK pensioners took part in marathons, with 73% raising money for good causes, 24% intent on improving their physical fitness and achieving a personal goal, and 3% in an involuntary capacity when trying to catch up with the bus that refused to pick them up at their original stop.

If you’re considering running a marathon, you should undertake a structured programme of training, starting by shuffling from the cooker to the fridge and gradually increasing the speed and distance until you feel comfortable in continuous forward motion for a period of four to five hours.

If you intend to run for a charity, you’ll raise considerably more money if you wear a fancy dress related to the charity’s area of concern – e.g. dressed as a Tibetan mastiff for the RSPCA, as a crab for Cancer Relief or wrapped in wax and barbed wire for Amnesty International.  Equally, there are some costumes which may inhibit your progress and are therefore best avoided, such as Victorian diving suits with lead boots if you’re running for the RNLI, full Andrew Lloyd Webber outfits if you’re running for the Cats Protection League and mediaeval moated castles if you’re running for the National Trust.