Clitheroe looking to make up for lost time

Helen Clitheroe
Helen Clitheroe
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Helen Clitheroe is looking forward to putting the pain of the last two years behind her when she takes to the track inside Hampden Park on Saturday.

The Preston distance runner will compete for a Commonwealth Games medal in the 5,000m at the grand old age of 40.

It is 16 years since she competed in her first Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 – and four years later, she won a bronze medal at Manchester 2002 in the 1,500m finishing behind the future double Olympic champion Kelly Holmes..

Amazingly, she won’t be the oldest Englishwoman in the field tomorrow – that honour goes to team-mate Jo Pavey, who is a little over three months older than her compatriot.

Clitheroe is just pleased to be back racing again after a career-threatening injury robbed her of a place at the 2012 London Olympics – a year after she won a brilliant gold in the European Indoor 3,000m.

She said: “It has been a tough couple of years missing out on two summer track seasons but I knew I could get myself back into good shape and knowing that the Commonwealths were on the horizon was a massive incentive for me to do that.

“Coming back from injury is never easy and requires patience.

“I am lucky to have had some fantastic support from my coach, physio and my training group in Preston as well as my family who are always in my corner.

“All those hours on the bike, in the gym and then the slow road back to running fitness have been worth it.

“The Commonwealth Games is such a special event and has really been a massive part of my career from when I started out in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur to getting the bronze medal in Manchester in front of a home crowdand being the athletics track female captain in Delhi four years ago.

“I am excited to see what Glasgow will bring and cannot wait for Saturday.”