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26th May, 2024, Alastair Aitken

(Harry Tempan was born 20/5/25 and died on the 27th of April 2024)

He was not a name that was known, amongst those who were in the public eye but, someone who loved his running till he was 94 and finally retired after several falls in Park Runs. His daughter Betty took him to races in his final running years, before he stopped running. He actually hung up his track spikes when he was 87 before that!

A remarkable thing was his fastest 800 was 2:05.0 as club runner, before being a vet and yet, at 50 he Ran 2:12 and, at 59 he won the European Veteran Championships M55 gold medals at Brighton, over 800/1500 in 2:14/4:25.95 He, of course, won World Vets titles like in Rome when he was 60 doing 1,500 in 4:31.04, but, even more impressive was the fact at 82 he topped the World age rankings for men over 80 with time of 6min 31sec for 1500. I can remember running with Harry in the City, when we worked in London. I was in my 40’s, and he was a lot older then. When he went to live in Dorking later, after he belonged to Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets for a long time, he joined the Dorking Mole Valley club but he also belonged to Veterans AC for many years.

He was married to Kathleen and his brother Len , now 85 ran a 2:42 marathon. Harry went on racing till he was 94 too! He told me when he was 83 ”I love running “he chuckled.” Why would I do it at 83? “ It would be crazy!” I remember saying to Harry Tempan ‘ You have had more comebacks than Frank Sinatra!”