With an impressive 22 London Marathons under his belt, 74-year-old Tony Rea certainly has no problems getting around, and his brand new apartment at Churchill Retirement Living’s King’s Lodge in Maidstone is proving to be an ideal base for his running adventures.
Tony took up running relatively late in life at the age of 40, in a drive to give up smoking and get himself fit, and he took part in his first London Marathon in 1986. “I definitely got the bug,” he recalls. “I started to increase the distances and it became a kind of obsession for a while. As well as all my London Marathons I’ve also taken part in a local Maidstone marathon (twice) and other big city marathons in New York and Paris over the years, but nothing compares to London!”
Tony’s wife Joan has been a key supporter, cheering him on from the same spot on the London course every time he runs there – Cleopatra’s Needle on the Embankment – and giving him a familiar face to look out for. “I’m very proud of him,” she adds. “He’s so modest that he hardly ever talks about his running, so it might come as a surprise to some of the other Owners here to find out that he’s completed so many marathons.”
Tony is still a keen member of his local Dragons Running Club, and often takes part in the local Maidstone and Malling park run 5k events, where he holds the over-70s course records. Downsizing to King’s Lodge has meant he and Joan can spend less time looking after their old three-bedroom bungalow, and more time doing the things they enjoy.
"It’s great being right in the centre of town with everything on our doorstep, and to have all the maintenance taken care of so we can enjoy more of our free time. We also love to travel, so it’s nice to be able to lock up and leave with no worries about security. If we go to places like Berlin to watch the World Athletics Championships, or if I choose to do an overseas marathon, we know that our apartment will be safe and secure and our fantastic Lodge Manager Sue will look after things while we’re away."
Unfortunately, an injury has disrupted Tony’s training and kept him away from London this year, but he has plenty of other running plans for the future. He explains:
"I’m hoping to be back to full fitness for the Chester Marathon later this year, or possibly Berlin, and of course there will always be London again next year. The medals have got a lot bigger over the years, and I fully intend to keep adding to my collection!"
King’s Lodge comprises of 53 one and two bedroom apartments in the heart of Maidstone. The apartments boast spacious rooms throughout and are an ideal combination of design and functionality. The fully fitted, stylish kitchens include a built in fridge and freezer, hob and an oven, which is located at an easy-reach height. All of the properties benefit from illuminated light switches for added convenience. Owners also enjoy ultimate peace of mind from a fitted camera entry system, for the highest level of security, and a 24 hour emergency call system.
With less to worry about, Owners will have more time to do the things they enjoy, including taking advantage of the host of other benefits which are on offer, including having family or friends to stay in the development’s well-appointed Guest Suite, enjoying a chat with neighbours, or attending one of the many events, in the Owners’ Lounge.
To find out more about King’s Lodge, please visit the show complex, open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, call 01622 965527 or click here