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Young at heart Barnes has no plan to stop running
7:00am Monday 15th October 2012 in Sport
STOCKTON Heath middle-distance runner Matthew Barnes has no plans to hang up his spikes just yet after an impressive summer, insisting life begins at 35.
Barnes ran within five seconds of his two-year-old 5,000m personal best this summer – clocking 14mins 3.83secs at the BMC Grand Prix in Solihull in July.
That performance came a day before his 35th birthday while his domestic performances as a whole saw him top this year’s McCain Challenge Series standings.
And Barnes gives credit to coach Norman Poole for helping him maintain his levels of enjoyment, which he believes led to the continued good performances.
“When you get into your middle 30s you wonder how much longer you’ll be running for,” said Barnes.
“But this year has probably been the most enjoyable of my career. My consistency levels have been good.
“A couple of my mates were joking saying that track running is a young person’s game, but I’m still going.
“I get a lot of enjoyment from working with Norman and the group that he trains with, I feed off them. He works with some very good athletes like Michael Rimmer and Tom Lancashire.
“Not only is it something I want to keep pushing myself at, it’s also part of my social life too. It’s inspirational to run with these guys.
“Any athlete’s prime aim is always to break your personal best and I got pretty close this year. Getting under 14 minutes is my aim for next season.”
The McCain UK Challenge is a nationwide, season long competition comprising a series of events from mid May until August for Britain’s top club athletes and aspiring internationals, vying for a share in a £30,000 prize fund.