Flying Philippa gains Black Country win

Philippa Taylor.
Philippa Taylor.
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Philippa Taylor is determined to prove herself as the fastest 50 year-old in the business, writes Barry Warne.

The flying Nene Valley Harrier is currently unbeaten since celebrating her birthday two weeks ago, and added The Black Country Half-Marathon to her roll of honour after winning the previous week’s Ramsey 10k

Even in an era when veteran long distance runners often beat their younger opponents, it is probably unprecedented for someone entering their sixth decade to finish ahead of the whole field as often as it looks like Taylor will do.

With a first and a second place finish to her name in the last two years, the Stamford-based athlete was awarded the honour of wearing ‘number one’ on her vest.

Taylor lived up to her billing and was in a class of her own on the course which runs from the centre of Wolverhampton to Birmingham city centre via canal towpaths.

Though the winning time of 1:27.33 was slow by Taylor’s high standards she was far too quick for the opposition, winning by four minutes.

Her enjoyment of the event was clear when saying: “The race makes a great change from usual half-marathons.

“We run from the centre of Wolverhampton to the centre of Birmingham but it’s all along canal paths, over bridges and through tunnels, trying to avoid geese at various places!

“It’s the second time I’ve won the race and although I did it in a relatively slow time for me I loved it and hope to do it again next year.”