Veteran athlete Darren Scott on track for third world sprint record
Life, they say, begins at 40 but veteran athlete Darren Scott is setting his sights on a new adage – 'Life begins at 50!' Darren will reach this birthday milestone on March 7th next year and he plans to celebrate by becoming the world's fastest 200 metres athlete over the age of 50.
He already holds the Masters 200 Metres world records for the over 40s and over 45s categories, and next year Darren aims to clinch an unprecedented hat-trick by breaking the over 50s record — making him one of the quickest senior athletes on the planet.
Runcorn-based Darren only took up athletics when he was 21 and quickly became a top-class 200 metres sprinter representing Scotland at international level. But when he turned 35-years-old, he became eligible for Masters competitions where he literally took the world by storm. He currently holds more than 50 club, UK, British, European and World titles competing against athletes who in their heyday have graced Olympics tracks.
The flying Scot is an athletic superman. After taking all the honours available in M40 and M45 sprint racing, he turned his attention to a new discipline, the decathlon. He promptly won the M45 UK Masters Championship in July before finishing fourth in last months M45 Masters World Athletics competition in Spain.
Now Darren, a fitness instructor at The Heath Business and Technical Parks Leisure Suite in Runcorn, is back in training with his eyes firmly set on taking the M50 200 metres world record in 2019.
He says: I achieved all I could in the 200 Metres breaking the world records in the M40 category at Birmingham in 2010 and the M45 at the Masters World Championships in Poland in 2015. As I was approaching 50 I decided to target a new challenge and became a decathlete. I had to learn a whole new set of endurance disciplines including 400 and 1500 metres races, hurdles, the javelin, pole vault, shot put, long jump, high jump and discus.
My plan was to use the decathlon not only as a fresh challenge but as a means to keep me fit and keep me going until I could move into the new Masters category once I turned 50. Ive now started my autumn and winter training schedule and my goal is to break that M50 200 metres world record next year and hold three consecutive world records.
Darren, who has been made an honorary member of his local athletics club St Helens Sutton in recognition of his amazing achievements on the track, is due to compete at the Sale Harriers Open Meeting at Sport City in Manchester just three days after his 50th birthday, and could go for the record then.
Says Darren: At the moment Im running in the 60 metres as there is no M50 200 metres race on the Sale Harriers event schedule — but I intend to talk to the organisers to ask if they will stage a special race so I can go for the world record in Manchester. Failing that, the Masters World Athletics Championships are being held in Poland from March 24 to March 30, and it would be wonderful to clinch the record there. Ive already booked my flights and I cant wait for the 2019 season to begin.
I love running and I love competition. Ill soon be 50 but I am as hungry as ever to win medals and break records. Theres something for everyone in Masters Athletics no matter how old you are. People can take part as long as they are fit and able, and the Masters events show there is no age barrier in athletics. Ive seen a 75-year-old pole vaulting and a 100-year-old competitor taking part at one championship!
John Lewis, Managing Director of SOG Group, the owner and operator of The Heath Business and Technical Park, says: Darren is not just an amazing athlete but also an inspiration to what can achieved by people as they get older. Hes a superb ambassador for The Heath and the town of Runcorn and is certainly hugely admired by his colleagues and the members of the gym at The Heath Leisure Suite where he instructs and trains.
To find out more about the business park and how to join The Heath Leisure Suite visit: www.theheath.com
About The Heath
The Heath Business and Technical Park is a phenomenal regeneration success story. Formed in 2000, its owner and operator, SOG Ltd, has transformed a once single occupancy corporate facility into a thriving independent business park. The Heath now provides office and laboratory accommodation for more than 120 individual organisations, ranging from business services and IT specialists to those at the cutting edge of science, research and advanced manufacturing. Around 2,000 people are employed at the site. For further information, telephone 01928 515988 or visit www.theheath.com
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PAUL SMITH ASSOCIATES
17th October 2018