A 45-year-old single mum from Binfield has broken a GB record in the 200m sprint.

Karen Burles, who started training with Reading Athletic Club, was the eldest competitor in her category – ages 40 to 45 – when she completed a heat in 25.54 seconds on July 2.

She went on to win the bronze medal at her first ever World Masters Athletics Championships the next day.

“To say I am over the moon isn’t enough and still now it is all sinking in, I think it might take a while,” she said.

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“One huge motivator is obviously my children, to inspire them to dare to dream and achieve the unthinkable in whatever they want in life. But also it’s my work and clients, I’ve lived breathed fitness since my early teens,” added Ms Burles, who has three children.

Bracknell News: Karen Burles photographed by Jonty Mitchell @photographybyjontyKaren Burles photographed by Jonty Mitchell @photographybyjonty

She re-joined the athletics world and Reading athletics club in 2019, becoming  Double GB indoor women’s (40-45) 60m and 200m champion in 2020.

Lockdowns meant keeping her fitness up while the track remained closed.

When she made it to the Championships final, she came off the bend in 8th place with broken spikes, but powered through to take third place.

“I’ve spent months not only training hard but ensuring my cup of health (mental, emotional and physical) stays full. Removing those drainers, surrounding myself with cheerleaders, working my training round the barriers of every day life and ensuring my health remains a priority,” Ms Burles said.

Bracknell News: Karen Burles photographed by Jonty Mitchell @photographybyjontyKaren Burles photographed by Jonty Mitchell @photographybyjonty

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“I have an amazing team around me, my coach Nathan, great training partners in fellow international runner from Ireland Leanne Wellings  - also a bronze medalist herself; Harry, my strength and conditioning coach; Pete from The Fox Den and all the fellow athletes who supported me.”

She continued: “I am still very new to this and their advice and support was 100% per cent  part of my achievements. Masters athletics is completely self-funded and I am grateful to local Twyford based company Benedict Charles financial who have been my sponsors since my return to athletics.”