Guest post by Amanda Coombe
Representing your country in your chosen sport is a dream for many of us during our teen years, however most of us fall short of this and live the dream as a keen onlooker.
One way we can re-kindle our youthful dream is to become a Masters athlete and that’s what 8000 plus track and field athletes from around the globe did recently in Lyon, France at the World Masters Athletics Championships.
Over 200 self-funded athletes represented Australia at the World titles held every two years over 12 days of competition, in 5 year age groups.
I have the privilege of training in one of the most well credentialed Masters Athletics squad in the country based at Narrabeen on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Janelle Delaney, Peter Crombie, Paula Moorhouse and Wayne Marriott are all members of this squad named SprintForce and Marge Allison is a Queensland based member.
Janelle Delaney competing in her first World Titles is now a three times World Champion coming back to the sport after many years. Setting 2 New South Wales (NSW) and 1 Australian record Janelle won the W45 200m and 400m events, running 25.78 & 57.37 respectively. She also anchored the 4x400m W45 team to victory.
Janelle runs from lane 5.
A seasoned campaigner having competed at World Titles for some 28 years Peter Crombie is the only person in World Masters Athletics history to reach the finals in the 100m, 200m and 400m at every meet in which he has competed. Competing in the M70, Peter was 4th in the 100m, 2nd in the 200m 27.24, 3rd in the 400m 63.56 and anchored the M65 4×100 and 4x400m teams to World titles. Running heats, semis and finals in the individual events and 2 relays over 12 days was an incredible feat after 3 knee operations. Peter also set new NSW records in the 100m, 200m and 400m events.
Peter also coaches Janelle, Paula, Wayne, Marge and himself.
After her best domestic season yet Paula Moorhouse W65 broke her 3 existing NSW records in the 400m, 800m and 1500m events. Paula won her first individual medal at World Outdoors finishing 3rd in the 400m and ran a huge PB for the 800m 2.57.36. Paula also won silver in the W65 4x400m relay.
Wayne Marriott M60 represented Australia in a range of sprint, hurdles, jumps and relays and performed creditability in all amongst stiff opposition.
Marge Allison W70 set 2 new World Records in the 200m hurdles 36.71 and 4x400m relay and won another gold in the 400m and was second in the 100m and 200m events. Marge has set 19 world records across 7 different events, a feat not achieved by any other Masters athlete in the world.
Perhaps some of these times don’t mean much to you, however try going to your local athletics track and running these times. Most 70 year olds are challenged with jogging let alone 200m with hurdles in less than 37 seconds!
All Australian states have Masters Athletics associations, with state championships mostly held in February/March and Australian Championships in April in Adelaide in 2016. No qualifying standards are required.
Amanda is considered a national expert personal training having five times been a finalist in the Australian Personal Trainer of the Year award. She is the founder of personalbestfitness.com.au and won the State Telstra Women’s Business Owner of the Year in 2013.
A former National League Basketball player, Amanda has won numerous Australian Masters Athletics Championships over 800m and 1500m and several medals at world level. She is the current NSW state champion over 1500m W45 and is an accredited Level 2 Advanced Sprints, Hurdles and Relays coach with Athletics Australia.