Hawick runner Alastair Walker already eyeing up more records after first success of 2022

Veteran Borders runner Alastair Walker has only just set his first record of 2022 but already he’s fixing his sights on following that up with a few more.

By Darin Hutson
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 1:09 pm
Alastair Walker en route to a new world record in Glasgow on Sunday (Photo: Bobby Gavin/Scottish Athletics)
Alastair Walker en route to a new world record in Glasgow on Sunday (Photo: Bobby Gavin/Scottish Athletics)

Walker, of Hawick, broke the world record for a man over the age of 65 at the 4J Scottish masters’ 3,000m indoor championships in Glasgow on Sunday.

The Teviotdale Harrier clocked a time of 9:59, breaking the previous record of 10:02 set by Netherlands runner Cess Stolwijk in 2015.

“It feels really good to have broken that record,” said the 65-year-old.

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“I’d always had this one in mind but there aren’t a great lot of opportunities to do it as there aren’t a great deal of 3K indoor races.

“If it wasn’t Sunday, that would have been it for this year as that’s the indoor season over.”

That record-breaking performance follows a handful last year, starting with one for 10K at over-60 in April, the month before he turned 65, with a time of 35:15 in a virtual race overseen by the Scottish Veteran Harriers’ Club.

Days after turning 65 and moving up an age category, he set a new British masters 10k record in Carlisle with a time of 35:59 and he followed that up with a 5K road-race record of 17:09 in the Cumbrian city, breaking the previous over-65 record set back in 1998.

A 65-plus British men’s track 5,000m record time of 17:03 at the Scottish masters’ championships in Kilmarnock came next, last July, and he then proceeded to break his own 5K road-race record with a run of 17:08 in Dunfermline later that same month.

Injury intervened at that point to keep him out of action for the rest of last summer and into autumn, but he made a comeback in November by claiming the over-65 men’s title at the British masters’ 5K road championships at Barrowford in Lancashire.

The father of three, married to Linda, is now hoping to take advantage of being a relative youngster in his age class by claiming a further flurry of records this year to keep up the winning streak he’s enjoyed since returning to running at the age of 58 after over 20 years out.

“I’m not long into this age class and it runs for five years so I’m hoping I can get a few more records early on,” he told us.

“There are a few I think are within my capabilities, like the 10K road record, and there are races on roads and on the track through the summer to have a go at.”

Next up for Walker, now retired but employed at Hawick’s Lyle and Scott textile factory for over 30 years and later at Galashiels logistics firm Sykes Global Services, is the Scottish masters’ cross-country championships at Aberdeen this coming Saturday, February 5, and he’s hoping to go on to compete at the world masters’ championships at Tampere in Finland in July.