Barefoot Bruce Tulloh, one of Britain’s greatest long distance runners, is entering one more big event at the age of 75.

Mr Tulloh and his wife Sue, 68, are competing in the anniversary Marathon Athens on Sunday October 31, the 2,500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon from which world’s longest race takes its name.

For the past three months Mr Tulloh, a former Marlborough College biology teacher who lives at West Stowell near Pewsey, has been coaching 250 Athens entrants from the City of London who are hoping to raise €2.5 million (nearly £2.2m) for UNICEF and other children’s charities.

Mr and Mrs Tulloh have entered the walking section.

“As I am now 75 it is unlikely that I shall be doing any more big challenges, so this will probably be my last sponsorship appeal,” said the 1962 European Games 5,000 metres gold medal winner,who still trains most days.

He can often be seen running the six miles between his home and Marlborough. As well as helping the children’s charities, he will be raising money for a children’s hospital in Kenya, where he and his wife lived before moving to Marlborough in 1973.

Mr Tulloh ran most of his races barefoot but he got through five pairs of shoes when he ran across the USA in 1969 in 65 days, knocking eight days of the record.

His feats include running a sub four-minute mile in 1962 and winning his first British AAA title over three miles in 1959, breaking the UK record the next year.

Mrs Tulloh, who took up running after marrying in 1961, said: “We may not be competitive any more but we will still keep busy and carry on with our support for other runners. As to the marathon, I hope to finish but I am not going to bust myself.”

The couple’s son Clive spent two years in the USA on a running scholarship and their twin daughters, Jojo and Katherine, won English schools track titles.