Alf Tupper is the runner's runner and inspired millions of young Brits for the 40-odd years that he appeared in comics. The Tough Of The Track, as he was styled, first appeared in comics published by DC Thomson in the late 1940s and then was the flagship character in The Victor, which ran from 1961 to 1992. The name was a kind of pun, as Alf Tupper was a working class hero pitched against toffee-nosed rivals from posh backgrounds (so he was a tough, in that sense) but he was also an indomitable racer (so tough in that sense too). He was an inspiration to several generations of British middle- and long-distance runners such as the late Ron Hill, Brendan Foster and Steve Cram. Alf Tupper was also a hero of mine, and I loved his sense of fairness and refusal to be beaten.