AFTER a lifetime of running around Oxford, one Royal Mail employee is set to take on the Reading Half Marathon for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Asghar Ali from Cowley runs 70 to 90 miles every week at the Horspath Road athletics ground and is one of Oxford City Athletics Club’s longest serving members. The 52-year-old says he wants to raise as much money as possible for the charity after having illness badly affect one of his family members.

Mr Ali started training at the Iffley Road running track while studying at East Oxford School and has been running long distance races ever since.

He first discovered his favourite pastime as a child growing up in Pakistan. Mr Ali said: “I was always running through the fields. I’m always restless and love to go out for a run. I was an extremely energetic teenager who used running as a way of burning my energetic fuel.”

Mr Ali, who has worked in the Swindon Mail Centre for 23 years, still competes regularly for the Oxford athletics club in long distance and cross country races.

He said: “I’ve done a lot of running. It has always been something I have loved. I usually try to do at least five miles of training each day.”

Mr Ali’s wife Naveeda, 47 will be cheering him on at the marathon on Sunday, March 2 alongside his five sons Bilal, Usman, Haider, Yamir and Mehar.

Mr Ali, who is raising money for the Great Ormond Street charity, said: “One of my nephews was very ill and when I look at him, it makes me feel like I should do something.”

Ashgar Ali’s great-nephew Huzaifa Ali, five, has cystic fibrosis. To donate to Mr Ali, visit