You would never believe Barrie was 71, he is elegant, has a lifetime of wisdom, and knows he can still achieve with his positive outlook on life.
Barrie explains to me he was gifted at sport, “We all have gifts it is what do we do with them”.
When Barrie continues to explain his life, I find myself drawn to his story. A soccer fanatic with trials for Mill wall, QPR and Arsenal, it is clear to see he was and still is gifted.
“At Arsenal I met 100 times capped English player Billy Wright, he told me I was too small. In 1963 I finally found my place at Watford. My wage was £10 a week, as a semi pro footballer how times have changed”.
At 20 Barry was seriously injured. He damaged his right knee, in fact it was completely shattered and this terminated his soccer career.
This was the start of his long convalescence. At 21 he left hospital with a full leg brace and was told to just get on with life.
Ten years on from the injury, Barry’s little boy ran off towards a lake whilst on holiday in Sweden. Instinctively this was the push Barry needed, he ran after him and it was this moment that changed his life. He could make himself run.
With more operations and self imposed physio he made continuous improvement. In 1981 he completed his first half marathon. He entered the Great North Run, whilst his brother had entered the London Marathon. Believing in sibling rivalry, he finished with a very stiff post marathon leg. Not deterred, from then on it was race after race. Travelling the world in search of the next. So far he has completed 50 marathons to date!
Barry tells me his favourite marathon is the New York Marathon. Due to its celebration of the diversity of people. In addition to the marathons, Barrie has ran 200 half marathons and has a total of 7000 competitive miles. With a best marathon time of 3 hours and 6 minutes.
He has also completed the 2 oceans Cape Town race, a 56K run in South Africa. Starting at the Indian Ocean and finishing at the Atlantic Ocean.
To top it all off Barry has managed to raise a total of £15.000 pounds in charitable aids. His support goes to Parkinson’s, Asthma and MS causes.
Barry continues to train with us at Seaham Hall, he has been a valued members for the past 5 years. His philosophy about life is inspiring, never give up, try again and make it happen!
We are all behind Barry as next year he embarks on his 38th Great North Run. Thank you Barry, for being part of the Seaham Hall spirit. Turning up everyday with such a positive outlook and a huge contagious smile.