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Former Mayor of Greenwich to run the Vitality Westminster Mile

When John Austin’s family planned a birthday surprise him by entering him and huge family group into the Vitality Westminster Mile, they didn’t foresee that he himself would have the same idea.

“I have often suggested that we enter a family team but never got round to organising it.  I blew their cover when I sent an email to some of them saying I was entering and inviting them to join me,” said Austin, who turns 75 in August.

Three generations will come together to make up the Austin family team: John’s son Damien, his daughter Zoë, six grandchildren from Jerome aged nine to Felix aged 22, two nephews and their partners, two of Austin’s stepsons and three close friends.

“This will be my first time running the Vitality Westminster Mile. I have run several London Marathons, many years ago. In 1989, as the Mayor of Greenwich, I was also an official starter of the London Marathon with Princess Diana.

“However I haven't run for more than ten years. My wife says it’s nearer twenty, so it’s probably somewhere in between.

“I would like to think that our whole family will finish outside Buckingham Place all together, but we probably won’t - the grandchildren are too competitive and won't want to hang around for Grandpa!”

Austin’s nephew’s partner, Emily, ran her first Virgin Money London Marathon this year, and is looking forward to sharing the experience of running the iconic final mile of the course with her wider family.

Austin, who is the Nominee of Local Councils for the London Marathon Charitable Trust, is fundraising for a local hospital, the Friends Of Brighton And Hove Hospitals, and is hoping to reach his charity target of £1,000.