'Forrest Gump' runner Peter dies at 70

A DETERMINED marathon runner aged 70 collapsed and died “doing what he loved”—at the peak of his training to break a world record.

Tributes have been paid to popular Peter Moxon, who was aiming to be the fastest ever septuagenarian at the Rotterdam race next month.

Family members compared the retired electrician to Forrest Gump, because so many people knew him from seeing him out running on Rotherham’s roads.

He recovered from an horrific cycling crash, when he spent 18 months in hospital and feared he would never walk again, to set a marathon personal best of two hours 46 minutes in the 1990s.

Sue Robinson, his partner of more than 20 years, said: “Peter was a real one-off. It was such an experience knowing him and I liked him because he was so different.

“He certainly made his mark on the world. He didn’t need Rotterdam.”

Former Oakwood Tech student Peter’s death on Monday followed a blackout while out running last month.

Did you know Peter? Pay tribute to him by using the "write a comment" buttons.

On that occasion he refused to board the ambulance, which instead followed him as he ran home from Tinsley to his Brinsworth flat.

“He always did things his way and nothing would ever change him or stop him,” said Sue (67).

“On Monday, he said ‘I’ll just be three-quarters of an hour, barring accidents’ which he had never said before. I felt a bit uneasy when he wasn’t back on time and then there was a knock at the door and I saw the yellow jackets.”

Divorced Peter had four sons—Steven, Ricky, Jamie and Kris—with wife Linda before meeting Sue, of Woodfoot Road, when she worked at the Atlas and Red Lion pubs. He also had two grandchildren.

Peter and Sue began seeing each other and were soon travelling the world together, with adventures in places like Israel, India, Cyprus and Turkey.

Sue said: “I’ve been to a lot of places, so many more than I would have without Peter.

“He was always losing things. I bought him a pair of Ray Bans to go away cycling with in Europe. He was in the Alps and heard that he was near the Tour De France route.

“He swapped his sunglasses for his reading ones to check the map and it was 30 kilometres later when he realised he’d left them. He still went back for them, all that way!”

Cycling had been his first passion from a young age because it allowed him to travel. He had raced for the Scala and Rockingham Wheelers teams before he was knocked over the top of a lorry in 1976.

Sue said: “Doctors didn’t think he would walk again. They put a mirror above his hospital bed so he could see outside because he was laid up for so long, and he said he could identify all the sparrows outside.

“Peter always had to be competing, and when he recovered he couldn’t race so he started to run. You wouldn’t have thought it would be any good for him, but he found he was all right.”

Sue’s daughter, Tracey Robinson, added: “Peter was like Forrest Gump, so many people knew him because he would run everywhere.

“He always did exactly what he wanted to do and he died doing what he loved.”