Athletics: Fairlands Valley Spartan proves life begins at 60 after impressive performance at Standalone 10k

PUBLISHED: 15:36 04 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:50 04 October 2017

Brian White of Fairlands Valley Spartans. Credit Penny Schenkel

Brian White of Fairlands Valley Spartans. Credit Penny Schenkel

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The Standalone 10k marked its 30th anniversary of the race on Sunday as all manner of competitors took part - including a 60-year-old Fairlands Valley Spartans member from Stevenage.

Brian White – who took up running when he had to give up playing football due to an ankle injury when he was 35 – triumphed in the 60+plus category in the popular race.

The former GSK research scientist who spent more than three decades at their base in Stevenage joined FVS 27 years ago as a way to help aid his 1990 London Marathon training.

Initially he was concerned that the camaraderie found in a team sport could not be replicated in athletics. But he soon realised being part of a running club is being part of a team.

Good-natured Brian He told CometSport: “I fractured my ankle and found bone spurs affected being able to twist and turn while playing football.

“I hadn’t realised the wide variety of options available to runners at the club or the fact that when you run with a club you are still part of a team.”

Brian spent time with a triathlon team in Hitchin before returning to FVS.

Scientist Brian had been at GSK for 35 years before being made redundant 11 years ago. It could have been daunting to some people but he decided to turn his hobby into his business and became a successful personal trainer, forming his own company Total Endurance.

He is also England Athletics endurance coach and a biomechanics coach.

He added: “I suppose you could say I followed my dream. I really enjoy what I do. I probably run between 70km to 100km a week through FVS and through my business.”

Being the first in his age range is achievement enough, but he still also challenges runners in their 20s and 30s.

Inspirational Brian added: “It’s quite nice to win. I still enjoy being part of FVS and still make the first team on occasions.

“My advice to anyone contemplating running with a club is to just go along and do it.

“Running clubs including FVS cater for so many different standards and abilities.

“They have fully-trained expert coaches at every level. You can even ‘walk-run’.

“FVS has a very welcoming atmosphere and I’d encourage anyone to join.”

A spokesman for FVS tweeted: “Fantastic FVS turn out for the 30th anniversary of the Standalone 10k. Thanks to our brilliant hosts @northhertsrr for a brilliant day.”

For more information on FVS follow them on Twitter @FVSpartans or visit their website www.fvspartans.org.uk.

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