A KEEN pensioner has proved age is just a number even when it comes to travelling for hundreds of miles.

Michael Kimber, 71, of Harwich, has smashed the leaderboards in a street game, after accumulating the staggering 400 miles for under five weeks.

Beat the Street was launched two months ago and has seen almost 3,000 people collecting points by walking, cycling or even roller skating between various beat boxes across Harwich and Dovercourt.

There were 35 beat boxes scattered around for players in school or community teams to find.

Michael, who is also a volunteer at Community Voluntary Services Tendring, joined the race to get moving after lockdown but ended up amazing his fellow competitors with his resilience, fitness and sheer determination.

His CVST team came second in the community leaderboards with a total of 54,180 points.

Top of the community leader boards were the superfit Harwich Runners with a total of 72,870 points.

Third place went to Team Ramsey with a total of 6,830 points.

To beat the street, Michael has cycled or walked nearly every day for a couple of miles.

He said: “The first time I walked I did it for eight miles.

“When I am on my bike I usually do between 12 and 16 miles.

“It has been a good experience - it got me walking further and I managed to fix my bike which has been hanging around in my summer house.”

Now the challenge has come to an end, Michael says both his mental and physical wellbeing have improved.

And staying fit will be one of his priorities in the future.

He said: “My legs are stronger and I have been sleeping a bit better.

“I walk wherever I can and I have been more inclined to jump on my bike.

“The whole point was to get people out beating the street,walking, cycling and getting more exercise while being out in the fresh air.”

Beat the Street often attracts teams of youngsters or athletes.

But according to Michael, the street game has been especially beneficial to elderly members of the community who found themselves stuck at home with time on their hands and nothing to do.

He added: “Through lockdown I can imagine there have been a lot of people sitting inside and looking at the walls.

“Everybody wants to meet people but very few of us get down to do it because it is easier to feel sorry for yourself.”

Becky Dowling, from Community Voluntary Services Tendring, who is also a co-ordinator for Beat the Street, added: “So many people said they have made new friends while playing.

“And something that surprised me was the big involvement of the elderly generation.

“A lot of residents were frightened and resistant to go out after lockdown and were scared to get back to chatting to people.

“The game made them get that social connection again which I think is what Beat the Street is really good at.”

READ MORE: Are you ready to Beat the Street in Harwich... and win prizes?

Youngsters also excelled in getting up and about to take part.

Mayflower Primary School in Dovercourt came first in the school charts with a total of 184, 940 points, followed by Two Village C of E Primary School in Ramsey with 155,220 points and Chase Lane Primary School in Dovercourt with 149,070 points.


About 32 per cent of competitors who signed up for the game said they were physically inactive.

More than 35,000 miles have been covered in Harwich and Dovercourt since the start of the game.