Age no barrier for Philippa Millage

The 39-year-old British Indoor Championships medallist says she is spurred on by proving people wrong

Age is just a number for Philippa Millage, who last month rounded off a busy week with a British Indoor Championships 800m medal and another national masters record to boot.

Competing in front of a home crowd, the 39-year-old Victoria Park City of Glasgow runner clocked 2:07.27 for bronze at the city’s Emirates Arena after improving her own official British W35 indoor 800m record the day before with 2:05.70 in the heats.

That came after Millage had helped to pace the World Athletics Indoor Tour 800m in Liévin, won by her fellow Scot Jemma Reekie, just a few days earlier.

“I worked Monday, flew out to France on Tuesday, pacemaked on Wednesday, flew back on Thursday, back to work Friday, broke a record Saturday and got a bronze medal on Sunday so I need to sleep for probably about a week now! But it has been incredible,” Millage smiled.

Having stepped away from athletics as a teenager but returned to the sport around 10 years ago, Millage says one of her motivations is proving that her age, considered by some to be old in athletics terms, is irrelevant.

“I do like to prove people wrong,” she said. “It’s incredible how many times people say that they don’t expect me to be able to perform on this level because of my age but actually that just spurs me on even more.

“I ran when I was younger but not really to any sort of level. When I was about 14 or 15 I gave it up, as many young athletes do. I took it back up when I was 29, just trying to keep fit.

“When I moved to Glasgow, my coach Bill Parker spotted me. It was him that really took me from being an average club runner to the athlete that I am today. He obviously saw something in me and has been really inspirational and has really brought me to the level I am at.”

Discussing the age gap between herself and the 17-year-old winner of the British title, Keely Hodgkinson, Millage laughed and added: “I could be her mum!”

Combining her athletics with a full-time job in marketing, Millage is now looking forward to the summer.

“I’ll focus on outdoors now and see what else I can achieve,” she said. “This has been a real good confidence boost for me.”

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