Our Chairperson recently decided to write to Athletics Weekly and we thought Club members should have the opportunity, whether or not they take the magazine, to see for themselves when he is shooting his mouth off in our name. Look!
It is well known what talented M60 distance runners Britain has at present with Martin Rees, Mike Hager and Dave Oxland, to name only the top three. What is also of note but perhaps not so widely appreciated is the quantity as well as the quality of runners of 60 and above. I recently ran a fell race where 11 of the 41 finishers were over 60, with 4 in the top 15.
It has got to the point where there are so many of us that you hear M40’s referred to as youngsters, with those in their 20’s regarded as neonates. I don’t know what it will be like in 2030. Maybe there’ll be groups of M80’s hanging around at the end of a race after they’ve finished, spotting an M50 battling it out with some F70’s and wondering if the lad has got what it takes to progress beyond the junior ranks.
Of course some young people, having to put up with depressed wages and long working hours, will sneer at us old greybeards, complaining that we are all full-time athletes on fat pensions a good bit more generous than Lottery Funding. Well, let me remind them about the austerity of the 1940’s. We were brought up on rations and, being part of the baby boom, there was even less to go round. And I won’t even mention having to run to and from school.
No, I put our staying power and increasingly high profile in the athletic world down to one thing: the legacy of the London Olympics. Who can ever forget those wonderful 1948 games?
Steve Herington [Hereford Couriers]