from Len's daughter Annie
Len Creo came to Race walking late in life when he reached his sixtieth birthday he suddenly decided to take up the sport and it instantly became something he was passionate about for the rest of his life.
He competed in five veteran Athletics world championships in Malmo, Buffalo, Gateshead, Brugge and Oregan and won gold medals in his age group for each of these events.
Len was incredibly proud to become a Centurion in 1990 at the age of 67 he was at the time the oldest person to become a Centurion. To qualify he had to walk 100 miles within the 24 hour time limit in accordance with racewalking rules. He achieved this in the time of 22 hours and 20 minutes and 55 seconds, His Centurion Number is 871.
Roubaix was another event that he was very passionate about. It is a 28 hour race walking event held in France. Len completed the event 6 times and he was the oldest person to have competed in the event.
Len competed in numerous marathons and was very proud and to represent Great Britain in International walking events wearing a GB vest and win gold.
One marathon that sums up Len's fighting spirit was in the Cardiff Marathon in October 2005. After a gruelling fight with bowel cancer he developed a good relationship with his surgeon Mr Harper and set about winning his next gold medal for him. Approximately four months after his last surgery he won gold in the over 80’s age group at the age of 82.
Len was a constant inspiration and encouragement for friends and family through his racewalking. Whilst on a family weekend away in Seaton Dorset he racewalked their5 km Parkrun event with the whole family, winning the over 95s age group record.
Len made a documentary video when he reached 90.
from British Centurion Dave AInsworth:
Ross-on-Wye based Len, keenly supported Veterans/Masters' Championships no matter where held. So many will be so sorry to hear of his passing - just days before his 97th birthday.
Len was a good athlete and while with Worcester AC at a meeting in Derbyshire he approached Clubmate John Marshall and asked if he could have a go at race walking? Len was then aged 60 - the answer was affirmative and the rest is history, as John become Len's coach.
While recovering from war injuries, Len was introduced to art as therapy. This unlocked latent talent with Len becoming so good, he was able to make a living out of it with many paintings being sold. Len became a Centurion when completing the first Leicester 100 miles walk to be held on a tough Hungarton course. Len clocked 22:20.55 claiming number 871. At that time he became the most senior athlete to finish a UK 100 miles for a first time when aged 67.
Despite being treated for bowel cancer, Len - aged 82 - won the M80 category at the 2005 Cardiff Marathon. Later he set an M95 category course record at a Seaton (Devon) parkrun.
Another piece of sad news, though I believe Len was almost 97, so a good innings. A talented artist, he gave me a brochure from one of his exhibitions, which I treasure. I will never forget the first day I met him, after an indoor 3,000m at Cosford, which we had on VHS for years, nor losing him at the Eurotunnel terminus after a trip to Roubaix. Such a nice man. Cath Duhig.