Another weekend when I have tried to tell my ageing body that I am not the age that it says on the Heinz tin. This time I was in the company of a few hundred individuals with the same notion. Sunday saw Lee Valley host the UK inter regional Masters championships and I was one of the willing participants at this jamboree of running, throwing and jumping. It was a bit of a late decision to go and the Northern Ireland contingent was somewhat, (actually very), small.
I have been going to these, "senior athletes," events for over sixteen years. Since I fell within the defininition of, " veteran athlete," the powers that be have decided that you are a , "vet," if you are over the age of 35. The rationale for this is that it should result in more individuals remaining within the sport. Personally I question this notion. When I was 35 I still viewed myself as a standard male athlete, still wanting to be in the mix and not wanting to be anyone other than another competitor.
These championships did not have the normal five year age categories, I was obliged to compete in the over 50 and under 60 category. There wasn't an awful lot in it, but positions one and two in my race were filled by v50's. Another v55 and self were third and fourth. The rest of the field were substantially in arrears.
I must train more.