Mo Farah wasn’t the only athlete breaking records at the weekend.
Veteran sprinter Darren Scott, a fitness instructor who works at The Heath Leisure Suite in Runcorn and competes for St Helens and Sutton, anchored home the GB Masters 4×200 metres relay team to post new world record time of 1.33.97 in the M45 category.
Darren and team mates Will MacGee, Giuseepe Minetti and Michael Gardiner broke the record at the Midland Masters Opening Meeting at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham on Sunday. Just 24 hours earlier Mo Farah had produced a world record performance over two miles on the same track.
And Darren came agonisingly close to making it a world record double when he failed by the narrowest of margins, 0.01 seconds, to break the world mark in the solo M45 200 meters event. His time of 22.58 did however shatter the European record which had stood for 17 years.
Said Darren: “It was brilliant to break the European record but I was gutted to miss out on the world record by such a tiny margin…0.01 seconds is just an inch short.”
Now Darren hopes to take the record, currently held by former American Olympic athlete Bill Collins, when he travels to Poland next month to compete in the European Masters Championships. He will also be competing for Great Britain later in the year at the World Masters in Lyon, France.
He also has another important date in June when he is due to marry his partner Rebecca Marples. The couple live in Runcorn with their two children Franky and Laylah and both train at The Heath. Rebecca will be in Poland to cheer on her future husband.
Darren, aged 46, only took up athletics when he was 21 and quickly became a top-class 200 metre sprinter representing Scotland at international level. But when he turned 35-years-old, he became eligible to enter Masters’ competitions where he literally took the world by storm. He currently holds an astonishing 45 club, UK, British, European and World titles competing against athletes who in their heyday have graced Olympics’ tracks.
He has been unbeaten in his event since 2006, winning gold medals at every European and World Championship contest he has competed in.
Competing around the world is an expensive exercise for the intrepid speedster who hopes his latest achievements might encourage sponsorship. Darren said: “I do get some help from Halton Borough Council but I’ll be paying my own way to Poland for the European Championships. Finding a sponsor would be really helpful. The 2016 World Championships are in Perth, Australia, and I doubt very much whether I will compete there without some form of sponsorship.”
He added: “Masters’ Athletics is really competitive and attracts athletes of all ages. You have to be 35 or over to take part and events are broken down into bands covering five years. People can take part as long as they are fit and able and the Masters’ events show there is no age barrier in athletics. I’ve seen a 75-year-old pole vaulting and a 100-year-old competitor taking part at one championship!”
John Lewis, Managing Director of SOG, the owner and operator of The Heath Business and Technical Park, says: “Darren is an incredible athlete and a credit to Halton and the North West. Our gym members are really lucky to have such an inspirational instructor to work out with.”
To find out more about the business park and how to join The Heath Leisure Suite visit www.theheath.com. Anyone wishing to speak Darren about sponsorship should contact him on 07903 971 307.