GEORGE (IRONMAN) ARMSTRONG b. 25/6/1939 d. 13/6/2019

Born in Jedburgh into a sheep farming family and was the eldest of three sons. His early life and school were in Hawick. He was a strong boy who loved action and played rugby for Hawick Juniors before moving to Dunbar in East Lothian after he married Jessie. They raised 5 children, Kenny, Christine, Pat, Colin and Caroline who now lives in Australia. George spent six years in the Royal Army Reserves.
George was a regular member of Haddington Rugby Club playing in the first team as a mobile forward. George’s love of running began by taking part in the Borders Highland games event and local hill races. He started his road running in his late 30s having been inspired when acting as a steward in the 1970 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh and ran his first marathon in 1981 under the Scottish AAA regulations around a 3 lap route in Edinburgh. He had to drop out at 20 miles, but his determination to finish was the hallmark of his further 140+ marathons during the marathon boom years with a personal best of 2hrs 36m.
In addition to his incredible marathon races George loved events such as the Corrieyairack Challenge, the Isle of Mull Fell Race and twice completed the 95 miles of the West Highland Way. George also was part of the Haddington East Lothian Pacemaker team to cover the East Lothian 3 Peaks run (Traprain Law, North Berwick Law and Lammer Law)
He was an original member of Lewisvale Spartans running club based in Musselburgh before it became Musselburgh DRC.
George was part of the successful HELP Veteran squad and also represented Scotland and Great Britain in numerous events including European and World championships in Europe, America, Japan and Australia. His medal haul is something that the local youngsters and fellow athletes are inspired by when they visited him.
George’s tartan bonnet and shorts marked him out and his well known ‘grunt’ told you that he was chasing you down.
After retirement from the building industry at 65 George decided to ‘put something back’ into his love of athletics by taking a Scottish Athletics Coaching Course as a JogScotland Leader encouraging people of all ages to take up recreational running. He regularly led groups at Meadowmill and Haddington. He would attend as many events as he could and we can all remember his battle cry “Mental Toughness”
An unfortunate accident at his home in Robertson Avenue Tranent which impaired George’s mobility resulted in a transfer to the Loch Centre Sheltered Housing Unit. Following several periods in hospital over the last year George became weaker and he passed the finish line of his greatest race, in peace, on Thursday 13th June 2019 just 12 days short of his 80thbirthday, supported along the road by his family and friends.
Henry Muchamore.