A record-breaking runner from Northampton who completed her first marathon aged 60 has been honoured by the Queen in the New Year Honours List.
Brixworth-born Angela Copson first took to long distance events in 2006 to try to raise money for heart research at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.
But her first attempt at the London Marathon in 2007 (completed in three hours and 57 minutes) unlocked a hidden talent for running.
Since then the grandmother-of-three, now aged 69, has made a habit of smashing athletics records in the over 65s category of her sport.
And now she has been awarded the British Empire medal for services to running in the Queen’s New Year honours list
Mrs Copson said she was thrilled to have inspired others.
She said: “What I’m doing all this for is really to encourage older people to keep fit and exercise - you’ve got to keep going you know.”
Mrs Copson took up running shortly after her husband had heart surgery.
“I just thought a marathon was a really good way to raise money,” she said. “I was 60 then, and next year I’m about to do my eighth.
“I just love it - I’ve got so many friends who I train with, of all ages. They are such genuine people.”
As well as raising thousands for charity Mrs Copson has an enviable competitive record.
In 2012 she went into her first European Masters Track and Field Championship and won four gold medals in the 400 metres, 800 metres, 1,500 metres and 5,000 metres races.
In 2013 she set a marathon world record in Berlin by running the 26 miles in a staggering three hours and 17 minutes.
At present, she is the W65 world record holder for the 1,500 metres, 3,000 metres, the 5,000 metres and the marathon - a record she intends to break at the London Marathon in April.
Mrs Copson, who is a member of the Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club, will be running the event on behalf of the British Heart Foundation.