BISHOPS Castle cattle farmer Mervin Mullard completed September’s Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon in a time of two hours and 21minutes in the latest in a long line of challenges the 73-year-old has undertaken to raise funds for farming charity RABI.

He ran the London Marathon in 2017 and last year completed the Montgomery Canal Triathlon, despite an injury.

“I try and do a couple of events every year. The Lake Vyrnwy run started with a climb up to the dam, then took us around the lake and back down into the village. There was a slight incline at the end, but I didn’t stop running. I even managed to overtake someone,” said Mervyn.

“It’s all for RABI and it helps keep me fit as well. It’s a good excuse to go out for a run in the mornings.

“My daughter and son-in-law did the Lake Vyrnwy Half Marathon too, so I thought it would be good to join them. They were faster than me, of course, but it was still fun,” he added.

The Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) provides financial support, practical care and guidance to farming people of all ages in England and Wales.

The 159-year-old charity has given out grants of £1.82 million this year, including £444,000 to working families.

Mervin has been part of RABI’s Shropshire committee for more than 20 years and is a former chairman. He continues to oversee his 400-acre farm with the help of his grandson and attributes his fitness to ‘the busy life of a farmer’.

A farmer for more than 50 years, he lives and works in the Shropshire Hills on the Welsh border, with Offa’s Dyke cutting through his farm. Living 1,300 feet above sea level, with the flattest bit of land he can find for training taking him up to 1,600ft, he says the hills are a true test of stamina.

Not finished with fundraising, or running, Mervin is already planning to do the Great North Run next year. He also helps organise an annual quiz for RABI in Shropshire.