A YORK couple who took up running in later life have just completed their latest fundraising half marathon.

Julie and Simon Dodsworth, who operate an online gift store as well as the Julie Dodsworth gift concession at Browns in York, ran the London Landmarks half marathon on Sunday in aid of children’s charity Variety.

It is the latest in a string of marathons and half-marathons the pair, who are both in their sixties, have completed together since taking up running five years ago.

They have been supporting Variety – a charity which works with children and young people throughout the country who are disabled or disadvantaged – for more than a decade, ever since they helped raise the funds to buy two Sunshine wheelchair-friendly minibuses the charity uses to take children on outings.

They took up running when Julie was 58. “It was just something new, something different, something we could do together,” the now 63-year-old said.

They set up a Just Giving page, aiming to raise £4,000 for the charity.

The pair, who live in Cundall near Boroughbridge and have grown-up children, passed that initial target some time ago.

“So we thought we’d just keep going!” said Julie, an artisan designer who designs the gifts made out of recycled materials that the pair sell.

Their initial target of running 1,000 miles in a year has now also gone; instead, they just compete regularly in marathons and half marathons, running on average about 25 miles a week together.

Next up is the Shakespeare half marathon in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 21 - followed by the Salzburg half marathon in Austria on May 12.

To donate to Julie and Simon’s Just giving page in aid of variety, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Julie-Dodsworth5