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Park life for Park Run veterans Bill Cooke and Wenzel Dunnett

By Staff Reporter

Park run veterans Bill Cooke and Wenzel Dunnet notched up a milestone together on Saturday.

Bill Cooke and Wenzell Dunnett celebrate running their 100th park run.
Picture: Daniel Forsyth. Image No.044530.
Bill Cooke and Wenzell Dunnett celebrate running their 100th park run. Picture: Daniel Forsyth. Image No.044530.

The pair ran their 100th Elgin Park Run in the Cooper Park to join the illustrious club.

What makes their feat even more remarkable is that Cooke turned 70 earlier this year and 72-year-old Dunnett has been using the runs to recover from a mini-stroke.

The friends completed the 5k distance side by side after ensuring they would reach the 100 mark on the same day.

Bill, from Portessie in Buckie and Dunnett, from Rothes, were given the honour of starting Saturday’s race and were handed a rousing reception by their fellow runners.

Wenzel said: “I have been running since I was 14-years-old. I thoroughly enjoy the running because it keeps me fit.

“I had a mini stroke last May. It has taken a long time to reach my 100 because of my stroke and I wasn’t running during the winter months.

“I enjoy it because I meet a lot of people from roundabout. My missus is not very mobile so this is the only chance I get to get out and about.”

Bill was 70 in Mayand starting doing the park run almost three years ago and has been running for 12 years.

He took up running to cope with the pressures of a high pressure sales job.

“I run the Buckie-Cullen Joggers and along with Barabar Stearn I run the Keith-Buckie seniors.

“I went to my doctor and he said get some exercise. My blood pressure was through the roof.

“I went to the pool in Buckie but that didn’t work but I met this girl who said Why don’t you come to JogScotland.

“I said to her I couldn’t run five yards let alone five kilometres.”

Bill turned up one night and has never looked back.

He has done 11 Baxters 10k race and more than thirty 10k races in total, over and above the 5k park runs.

“This is like a family in itself (park run). I am chuffed to reach 100.”

Bill grabbed early retirement with both hands eight years ago and running has become his main focus.

He has introduced a lot of people to running over the years.

“Anybody who is struggling I will stop and help them. They call me Mr Motivator.”

The Elgin Park Run is every Saturday at 9.30am in the Cooper Park and anybody is welcome to take part.

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