If ever you needed proof that life begins at 40, look no further than Epsom endurance runner Ann Bath.

The 67-year-old took up jogging roughly 27 years ago, and earlier this month she competed at the Sri Chinmoy 24-hour race in Berlin finishing as top woman having covered a staggering 107.8 miles (173.5km).

Admittedly the former NHS dietician was only in a field of three women, but her distance placed her sixth overall in a field of 25 – meaning she beat many of the host nation’s male runners.

Bath also holds the women’s 60 and 65 UK age records for 12-hour, 100-mile and 24-hour distances – and in October she will be running alongside the continent’s best in the open race of the European 24-hour Championships in France.

“I started jogging to get fit for a skiing holiday, and I just got into it,” she said.

“I joined the 26.2 Running Club in Surbiton and built up gradually from 10k to a half-marathon, and I did my first marathon when I was 49, and I did marathon a year until I switched to ultra races when I was 60.

“My first ultra was the Dartmoor Discovery 30-mile race and I really enjoyed it, then I did a 24-hour race on the track at Tooting when I was 62, and I ran 103 miles and was the first lady, which was bizarre, but I had clearly found my distance.

“Before I started running, I was not really sport just some gentle swimming.”

Bath can disappear for up to 10 hours a day during training runs and she prefers her own company rather than listening to headphones.

But she has made many friends on the endurance scene around the country, and because it is a small band of brothers and sisters, they all know each other by name – including some of the elite GB runners.

Now she will be running alongside them in the open race that runs alongside the European Championships after her performance in Germany – and she has some advice for wannabe runners.

“It was only a small women’s field, but I was so chuffed to win, the organisers said I was smiling all the time, but I was so happy that I’d done well – especially overall,” she said.

“When I moved up to ultras, I could have easily have failed – you don’t know until you have the guts to have a go.

“My philosophy is that age is totally irrelevant if you are committed to training properly.”