A gym manager who helps recovering addicts in her day job is due to head to Brazil to compete in the World Masters Athletics Championships in October in her other life as a veteran athletics champion.

Caroline Marler, 62, puts 20 people a day through their paces at the Bridge gym in Salem Street as they recover from drug addictions. Bridge is the largest drugs charity in Bradford.

But Mrs Marler, a member of the Northern Veterans Athletics Club, is also the holder of the British Women’s 400 metres indoor and outdoor record in the 60 to 64 category and will be running in the World Masters Athletics Championships in Porto Allegre, Brazil, from October 16 to 27.

She will be running for Great Britain in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 4x400m relay.

The championships bring together athletes aged 35 and over to compete.

At the last European Indoor Championships she was part of the winning Women’s (age 60 to 64) 4x200m team, which broke the world record. She also holds the British Women’s 400m indoor and outdoor record for her age group and still holds the indoor record for 400m for the 50-plus age group.

Mrs Marler, a mother-of-two, who lives in Otley, said: “People come to the gym and it makes a big difference to their physical health and wellbeing. It makes them feel a bit better mentally and they encourage each other.

“They haven’t got much structure to their day and this gives them a reason to get up in the morning.”

Speaking about her own athletic career, she said: “I have been doing athletics all my life and train six days a week at the gym before it opens.

“Thousands of people go to the World Masters Athletics Championships every year – more than go to the Olympics – and anyone aged 35 up to 100 years old can compete. You have to wear British colours and be part of the British Masters Athletics Federation.

“Physical health is so important and creates endorphins, so you feel better about everything. A lot of people come to the gym feeling stressed but leave feeling better.”

Jon Royle, the chief executive of Bridge said: “Bridge services include an in-house gym where clients are provided with individual programmes of exercise and nutritional advice to improve their physical health and well-being.

“Caroline supports, guides and mentors people with drug and alcohol problems to get active and enrol in individually-tailored exercise programmes as they rebuild their lives and bodies in recovery.”