AN RAF veteran went more than an extra mile as he celebrated a milestone birthday last weekend – in fact, he went 60 extra miles.

While most people reaching the age of 60 might plan a night out or a holiday, former aircraft engineer Andy Gibbs decided he wanted to challenge himself by running a mile for each year he’s been alive.

But when the bid day arrived on Wednesday, June 8, he tested his endurance to the hilt when running all the way from Little Neston on the Wirral to his hometown.

Winsford Guardian: Andy Gibbs had many challenges to over come on his 60 mile runAndy Gibbs had many challenges to over come on his 60 mile run

“After months of extra-long runs and weeks of planning the day finally arrived,” Andy said.

“The weather forecast wasn’t the best but, everything was in place, so I packed my waterproofs at the top of my race vest in readiness for the inevitable rain.

“I set off at 6.45am and went along the Wirral Way.

“The track was very muddy with huge puddles, and I soon had dirty legs.”

Winsford Guardian: Andy was hugely thankful to his support team who kept him hydrated and motivatedAndy was hugely thankful to his support team who kept him hydrated and motivated

It wasn’t all plain and muddy sailing for Andy, who met several problems along the way, including closed towpaths and waist high grass alongside the Shropshire Union Canal. But it took him just under four hours to reach Tarporley, with 27 miles ticked off.

“My support crew had found a bench for me to take the weight off my feet; lovely,” he said

“A quick water and sports drink replenishment and a banana and I was off for the next section, where I was joined by my brother who cycled alongside me.

“We had a good catch up and that really helped the miles fly by.”

Winsford Guardian: Weather conditions meant there was plenty of mud and puddles to wade throughWeather conditions meant there was plenty of mud and puddles to wade through

Andy was joined by his great running friend Gary Thomason after the 35-mile point and he said this helped as powered his way through more mud.

“At one point I slipped and almost ended up in the canal, this coupled with wet feet, yet again, required me to dig deep into my reserves. 

“Passing the 50-mile point was a real morale booster.

“And then I was at the top of Bowland Rise, the finish, I looked down at my watch and read the magic number 60 miles.

“I felt amazing and really chuffed.

“I couldn’t have done it without the assistance from my brilliant support crew.

“And a huge thanks to the runners and cyclists who ran with me along the route, all the folk who watched my progress on my tracker and the lovely messages on social media.”

Winsford Guardian: Andy said he was "really chuffed" to have completed the epic challengeAndy said he was "really chuffed" to have completed the epic challenge

Andy finished the 60 miles in 12 hours 2 minutes, completing 91,679 steps, using 8,692 calories – with an average mile pace of 10 minutes 24 seconds.