FLYING Scot George Black might just be the fastest 80-year-old on the planet. The Fife runner kicked off his New Year with a race in Portobello and a brand new world record.

While most folk in the capital were sleeping off their hangovers or reaching for the Irn-Bru, the octogenarian ran four miles in an astonishing 30 minutes and 10 seconds, smashing the current record for a man of his age by seven minutes.

Speaking to The National yesterday, the Fife Athletic Club runner said his run in the Portobello Promathon on New Years Day was, “18 minutes of discomfort, eight minutes of pain and four minutes of agony”.

What’s incredible is that it’s not the only record Black set this week.

Last Saturday, he ran the St Andrews Craigtoun 5km Parkrun in 24 minutes 34 seconds. The fastest time for any 80 year old park runner in the UK.

Black, who only started running when he was 42, said 2019 had been a tricky year following calf and achilles injuries. And then in August during an off-road trail run, he tripped and broke his arm.

“It’s nice to be breaking records and not bones,” he said.

The modest champion trains every day, though he has cut down in recent years from 128 miles a week, to around 30 or 40.

He said his love of the sport had more to do with friendship than winning medals.

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“My wife died eight years ago and it’s all I’ve really got.

“It’s my social life. I train with people at 8am in the morning and I’ve got lots of friends in the sport.

“It gets you out of bed.”

Black said he wasn’t looking for praise or a pat on the back, but that he’d like to use the attention from breaking the world record to “promote and to encourage older people to keep running”.

Especially, he added, people who’ve had a heart attack.

“Within the club there are about five of us who have all had heart attacks and all have stents. I call us the Stenturiouns.

“You can have a heart attack and still continue to run and train and race at a good level,” he insisted.

Black has a busy year ahead.

He’s heading down to the East Hull 20-mile race in March.

It’s not the first time he’s competed. He currently holds the course record for both 55 and 75 year olds.

The accomplished duathlete – he won the European championships in 2007 – said: “You need something every year to get yourself motivated to go out.”

Black wasn’t the only Scot to net themselves a record on New Year’s.

Eilish McColgan claimed victory in the 4-mile Midnight Run in New York. The Olympic hopeful finished in 20 minutes and 50 seconds, breaking the course record, by one second.

“What a way to bring in the New Year,” McColgan tweeted.