IT HAS BEEN quite a year for teenage runner Angus Wilkinson.

So much so, the history-making 14-year-old from East Kilbride has to think for a second when asked what his highlight of a spectacular season has been.

After all, 2023 saw the Duncanrig Secondary pupil set a world record, clock up the fastest time in the 1500m for his age group in the UK, and claim the British record at 3000m (8:35.47) and the Scottish record at 800m (1:55.80).

He was also mentioned in the Scottish Parliament and received a message of congratulations from multiple Olympic, World and European champion runner, Sir Mo Farah.

Glasgow Times: Superstar runner Angus WilkinsonSuperstar runner Angus Wilkinson (Image: Gordon Terris/Newsquest)

“I think beating the 1500m record and getting the world record for the mile race was the best thing that happened this year,” he says, eventually, with a grin. “Both happened in the same race, so that was pretty exciting.”

At the Monument Mile in Stirling, Angus ran the race in 4:11.20 - smashing the previous age-level record, which was set in 1985, by 10 seconds. Because an official photo finish at the 1500m mark clocked his time at that point as 3:53.70, he could also claim the UK under-15 record for that distance.

Glasgow Times: Angus in actionAngus in action (Image: Wilkinson family)

It is also, he adds with a groan, the one and only time he has thrown up after a race.

“I’m never sick,” he frowns. “But I was after that one. I just wanted to run the best time possible.”

Angus lives with mum Kerry, who is a teacher, dad David, a project manager, and older brother Tom, 18, who is studying civil engineering.

Glasgow Times: Angus with his mum and dad, Kerry and David, and brother TomAngus with his mum and dad, Kerry and David, and brother Tom (Image: Gordon Terris/Newsquest)

Another highlight this year was hearing his achievements praised in the Scottish Parliament by his MSP, Collette Stevenson, who paid tribute to “East Kilbride’s record-breaking athlete Angus Wilkinson”.

“It was pretty exciting hearing my name read out in the Scottish Parliament,” he nods. “That was really something.”

Angus has loved sport since he was in primary school. He was not interested in football, but enjoyed hockey and basketball, until his talent for running was first spotted.

“When we did races, I did okay,” he shrugs. “I could keep up with the footballers, who were quite fast. I went to a local club, Calderglen Harriers, when I was about 10, and really liked it.

“A pal told me about EK Athletics Club, but I thought they’d be really competitive and I wouldn’t be good enough.”

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Luckily, he did try out for the club, in 2021, and Kerry recalls waiting in the car for her son to finish.

“I remember his coach came running out to the car park after Angus’s trial,” she says, smiling. “He said – can you please enter Angus into the Under 13 Scottish Championships in Aberdeen?

“I was a bit taken aback, especially when he added, ‘we do think he has a medal chance’.”

Accepted into the club in the summer of 2021, Angus did compete in Aberdeen that August, and in his first ever national competition, won a silver medal.

“I led the whole way, actually, and got beaten at the end by someone who had more experience and was just better,” he says, with a smile. “But I did manage to hold on for second. I had never thought I’d win a medal, I just thought it might be good experience.

“It made me want to keep doing it, so I did, and I got better.”

Angus trains six times a week (“three days at the club, three days on my own, and Friday is a rest day,” he says) and his favourite distance is 1500m. His coach is Niall Walker, East Kilbride Sports Awards coach of the year.

“My coach is pretty famous, he knows everyone,” says Angus, grinning. “He has known Mo Farah all the way through his career. With one of my records, I was running about seven seconds faster than what Mo was doing at my age, so Niall let him know.

“Mo sent a message to me, saying ‘oh no’ and ‘what’s going on’ but he was really nice and just joking. I was shocked when my coach showed me it, I couldn’t believe it.”

Angus adds: “Mo also said nice things about making sure I listened to my coaches and to keep on believing in myself. It was amazing.”

Angus is inspired by top Scots 1500m athletes Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman.

“I think it’s cool that British 1500m runners are the fastest, and the top two are Scottish,” says Angus. “I really admire both of them.”

Unassuming, quietly spoken and modest to the core, Angus “hates a fuss”, says his mum. He  dismisses talk of the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games.

“I don’t really think that far ahead,” he says, firmly. “If I keep going, maybe one day I could make it to the top of Britain? But I know it is a very big jump from junior to senior.

“I want to concentrate on getting to the under 18s, then the under 20s and see what happens.”

He pauses. “I mean, I do have dreams, but I’m also realistic.”