Philippa Millage went into the British Indoor Championships in Glasgow at the weekend with a point to prove.
And she left the |Emirates Arena last night having proved it in emphatic style.
The Glasgow runner is 39-years-old which, according to some people, is positively geriatric in athletics terms.
However, the Glasgow woman showed that age is no barrier to success, picking up a bronze medal in the 800m yesterday in impressive style.
The Glasgow woman crossed the line in 2 minutes 7.27 seconds, behind the English pair of Keely Hodgkinson and Mari Smith and she was positively ecstatic at picking up some silverware.
“I’m so delighted,” she said.
“I’m buzzing. I knew I was in good shape and I felt comfortable running a personal best in the heats and I felt good doing that. There’s always an opportunity in a championships because you never know what’s going to happen. But never in my wildest dreams did I think there was a medal there. I was running thinking I ‘Oh my god, what’s happening here?’.
“I knew I was in really good shape but sometimes it doesn’t translate to the track. So it was good.”
Millage not only set a personal best in the heats but also a British Masters record but she admits that winning a medal this weekend has proven everyone who said she was too old wrong, something that is a major driver for her in her career these days. And as she approaches her 40th birthday this August, it is something she will continue to strive to do and her performance this weekend has given her the belief that she can mix it with the best in Britain, regardless of how old she is.
“You’d not believe how many people keep bringing up my age, it’s ridiculous,” she reveals.
“They tell me I’ll not going to get any quicker now but I think ‘oh really? Watch me’. So I like to prove them wrong.
“It’s 100 percent a part of my motivation. I’m lucky in that I’ve a coach who is very supportive and always tells me that age is just a number and that I deserve to be here.
“He’s the one who’s got me to this stage and level I’m. Sometimes I feel a bit of an imposter but I feel like I deserve to be here now.
“I had all of the Scottish records already but I didn’t have any of the British ones and this was really my last opportunity so that was in my mind as I stepped on the track. I really wanted to go for it.”
It has been quite a few weeks for Millage.
She was invited to France last week to set the pace for Jemma Reekie where the 21-year-old broke the British 800m record.
That the Glasgow woman, who works in marketing, was invited to be pacemaker for Reekie, who is the form athlete of the year so far, says much about her ability and while Reekie obviously got a huge benefit from Millage’s pacemaking, so to has Millage gained a number of positives herself in what has been a hectic couple of weeks.
“It’s been amazing – I’ve had such a good few weeks, things have been going so well,” she said.
“Having had the opportunity to pace a couple of times, that’s given me a lot of confidence which is what I think has really helped me focus when I’m out there.”