WATCH: Speedy Eva, 81, runs fastest mile on record for her age group

Eva Osborne, 81, of Wymondham, who has run a mile in the fastest time in her age group. Picture: DEN

Eva Osborne, 81, of Wymondham, who has run a mile in the fastest time in her age group. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A 81-year-old fitness enthusiast managed to run a track mile in nine minutes - smashing the national record for her age group by 17 seconds.

Eva Osborne, who has been part of Wymondham Athletics Club (WAC) since 1978, ran the record-breaking time at the Cambridgeshire Track and Field Championships on June 23.

Ms Osborne's best time is actually eight minutes and 42 seconds, but on the day she took off too quickly and "messed up" her pacing.

"I was running against all these 17-year-old girls with long legs who shot off ahead of me, so I was tempted to go too fast at the beginning to keep up with them", she said.

Ms Osborne first timed herself running a mile for a separate online British Masters event back in April — something she hadn't done in years. 

"During lockdown I lost all motivation for running because there were no races or park runs or anything, it was all just getting a bit lonely", she explained.

"But when I saw this online event it gave me something to focus on.

Eva Osborne, 81, of Wymondham, who has run a mile in the fastest time in her age group. Picture: DEN

Eva Osborne, 81, of Wymondham, who has run a mile in the fastest time in her age group. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021


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"I decided to run a mile out of curiosity, just to see how fast I could do it. And after I did I realised I was actually quite fast, and quite enjoyed it.

"I ended up running every day that week and brought down my time from nine minutes 30 seconds to eight minutes and 42 seconds. The record was nine minutes and 17 seconds.

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"At that point I thought, "you know what? I probably could beat that.""

The speedy senior submitted her results to the British Masters after a week of practice, but because it was an online event and not "official", her record-setting run didn't count.

It wasn't until the Cambridgeshire track event in June that she got another shot.

Eva Osborne, 81, of Wymondham, who has run a mile in the fastest time in her age group. Picture: DEN

Eva Osborne, 81, of Wymondham, who has run a mile in the fastest time in her age group. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

After approval from three time-keepers and the filling out of various ratification forms, she now has the official record for the quickest mile ran in the UK by a woman in the 80s category.

But despite her winning streak, Ms Osborne stressed she "isn't at all competitive". In fact, she just loves running.

"You always feel better for it afterwards", she explained.

"I don't have a proper training regime or anything, I just train twice a week at WAC and then run by myself and with my friends in between.

"If I don't do it I get fidgety."

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