Suffolk-born Mingay sets a UK over-60 record for the marathon
- Credit: Archant
Paul Mingay, a member of Colchester Harriers, re-wrote the record books last weekend by posting the quickest-ever time by a UK over-60 veteran over the marathon distance.
Suffolk-born Mingay, aged 62, clocked a remarkable time of 2hrs 45mins 14secs at the Valencia Marathon, in Spain.
An in-form Mingay, who lives in Kelvedon but was born and brought up in Lowestoft, produced a startling performance over the 26.2-mile distance.
Despite having graced the over-60 ranks, since 2017, Mingay proved that age is no barrier by setting what was a personal best time in Valencia, in addition to breaking the UK record for the fastest ever marathon run by an over-60 athlete.
The previous record had stood for 28 years - Bill McBrinn, of Glasgow-based Shettleston Harriers, had the previous best of 2:46:26, set at the Fort William Marathon back in 1991.
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Ironically, McBrinn had broken the former record (2:47:23) of John Wood (from Barnet), which had been posted just six days earlier (April 15, 1991) at the Boston Marathon in the United States.
Mingay sliced more than a minute off McBrinn's old landmark but, although proud of his achievement, he was left a little frustrated by the time, which was a mere 14 seconds outside the 2:45 barrier.
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"I was made aware of the record, after I had run 2:47:40 at the Seville Marathon in February," explained Mingay.
"I knew that I was only about 90 seconds off the record that day, so I saw it as something to aim for, and to work towards.
"It acted as good motivation for me, and after Seville I decided to change clubs, from Tiptree Road Runners to Colchester Harriers, so that I could start training in a faster group.
"That certainly helped me. I upped the mileage, running on average about 60 miles per week and increased my tempo runs. It drove me on, running with faster athletes in the same training group. The intensity was picked up, and this has helped me to run at a pace which was a higher level than before.
"We were lucky with the weather on race-day. It had been very hot, the day before, and it rained the day after, but the temperature for the marathon was very pleasant, and the course is fantastic - it's very flat, on mainly wide roads.
"Although my main target was to beat the UK all-time (over-60) record, which I'm delighted to have done, I'm sure that falling just 14 seconds short of 2hrs 45mins will niggle at me, over the coming months.
"It doesn't at the moment, but I'm sure it will annoy me in the future," added Mingay.
Reflecting on his past running exploits, Mingay said: "I've had two running careers, really.
"I ran in the my 20s and 30s, when based in Norfolk. I ran for Duke Street Runners, and then City of Norwich AC when the two clubs merged.
"I ran a marathon PB of 2:50 at Rotterdam, in the 1980s, but then I got hit by injuries, so I didn't take up the running again for about another 27 years, until I was in my 50s. And turning 60 seems to have been the making of me!
"I might try my hand at another marathon next year, but it's too early to say at the moment."
In addition to setting a UK all-time over-60 record for the marathon, Mingay currently tops the 2019 over-60 rankings over 10 miles (58:39 at the Fenland 10 in October) and the half-marathon (1:17:32 at the Fleet Half-Marathon in March.
He has also clocked the fastest one-mile time by an over-60 veteran in 2019, thanks to his swift 5:11.2 on his home track at Colchester in an Eastern Masters league meeting over the summer. He is also ranked No. 2 over 5K and five miles, and third over 10K.
Last year, Mingay was crowned a world champion when finishing first over-60 at the World Masters Championships over the half-marathon in Malaga, Spain.
- Meanwhile, several Suffolk runners were in action at the Valencia Marathon, spearheaded by Jim Last, who clocked a fine 2:41:42. Last, an over-40 veteran from Framlingham Flyers, set a PB of 2:37:23 at London last April.
Jonathan Glanfield, of Felixstowe Road Runners, set a PB of 2:54:07 at Valencia, slicing nearly four minutes off his previous best at Brighton, while Framlingham's Chris Leek also nipped under three hours (2:57:33).
Other leading Suffolk & Essex affiliated runners at Valencia: Lee Barber 3:04:35, Steve Hall 3:04:34, Graham Coulter 3:48:14 and Karen Sage 4:19:53 (all Framlingham), Ben Jacobs 3:09:27 PB, Dave Solomon 3:27:33, Adrian Kudela 3:29:03 and Jonathan Miles 5:12:00 (all Felixstowe RR), Daniel King (Col/Harr) 3:31:02, Thomas McCusker (Newmarket) 3:13:40, Jonathan Finch 3:29:23 and Iain Rhodes 3:52:05 (both Tiptree RR).
- Elsewhere, another Colchester Harriers veteran has been making the headlines abroad.
Colin Ridley, a former member of West Suffolk AC, won his over-55 age group at the International Running Challenge in Lanzarote.
Completing four races in four days, finishing with a gruelling off-road half-marathon, Ridley ended up more than four minutes ahead of his nearest rival.
Fellow Harrier Simon Ford finished seventh in the tough over-40 category and Andrew Conway completed three of the four races.