Clowne Road Runners coach and 10km specialist Andy Ward is hunting a world record.
The local athlete recently ran the third fasted 10km time in UK athletics history, for a man in the 40 to 44 years age category.
And at the English and British Championships in London he’s aiming to run the fastest ever 10,000m time for a 44-year-old.
Fresh from a 10km race win at Gainsborough on Sunday, where he not only finished first in a time of 31:02, but broke his own course record, Ward told the Guardian about his impressive exploits.
“When I ran 29:38 at the Trafford 10km, we thought it might be a world record for a 44-year-old, but we can’t tell for sure, unlike with track racing where you get accurate records,” he said.
“It’s been building, I’ve gone under 30 minutes three times over the autumn and winter, so I knew I was in good shape.”
Ward, a gardener, attributes his incredible form and the fact that he’s getting faster despite getting older, to the training regime implemented by his coach.
“Dave Tune from Blizard Physiotherapy has been my coach and he uses a method of training called lactate threshold training,” said Ward.
“Basically you train to your heartrate, at your optimum levels depending on what state your body is in.”
Although it wasn’t a major event on his calendar, Ward was keen to race in the Gainsborough 10km on Sunday to retain his title.
He said: “There was good money to be won and it’s a lovely race, beautifully organised and they should be very proud of it.”
“I won it last year and wanted to have another go at it.”
A recovery period of two weeks will now let Ward recharge his batteries before his assault on a world record.
“I’m having a little rest period, I’ve got two easy weeks because it’s been full on training and racing since September, that’s a long seven month block.”
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself but I will be looking to go for a world best time for a 44-year-old over 10,000m on the track.”
“After that the Manchester 10km will be a big city centre race, with lots of the best runners from all over the world taking part.”
At Gainsborough, Ward led home a team of seven Road Runners.
Second home in the club’s red vest was Richard Hind, in 38:11 for 53rd place overall.
Close behind in 60th was Peter Twigg, with his finishing time of 38:25.
Malc Stapleton was 79th in a time of 39:16, while Dave Hazleton finished 93rd in 40:07.
The club’s ladies were represented by Jane Aram and Gemma Hind.
Aram was 509th in a time of 57:54, while Hind finished 519th thanks to her time of 58:29.
Faye Fullerton, a Havering Mayesbrook AC athlete, confirmed her pre-race status as the favourite for the Ladies prize as she shattered the previous course record by 45 seconds to finish in 36:15.
Fullerton, like Ward, also collected £250 in prize money.