On the right track

Cou­ple shines at na­tional 55+ Games

The Casket - - SPORTS - COREY LEBLANC coreyle­blanc@the­cas­ket.ca

It has been a medal-win­ning sum­mer for an Antigo­nish County cou­ple.

Mac and Mary Lew Murray of Pom­quet Point Road raced to the podium – on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions – dur­ing the Canada 55+ Games in St. John last month.

“It was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” Mary Lew said, de­scrib­ing the Games as a “pretty neat con­cept.”

She gar­nered gold in both the 100 and 200m sprints, while tal­ly­ing sil­ver in the 50m clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

Mac raced to sil­ver in the 200m and bronze in the 100m, while plac­ing fourth in the 400m.

“It is eas­ier in some ways,” he said of the cou­ple’s de­ci­sion to fo­cus on sprint dis­tances.

The cou­ple earned spots on Team Nova Sco­tia with their per­for­mances in the 2017 pro­vin­cial com­pe­ti­tion in Lunen­burg County.

“It is about con­tin­u­ing to stay ac­tive, and we love it,” Mac said of their time on the track.

Since se­cur­ing those po­si­tions, they have put on a lot of mileage, in­clud­ing sprints on their ru­ral road and the long drive­way that leads to their Fair­wind Farm prop­erty.

Dur­ing the win­ter months, their horse arena served as a train­ing venue.

When they needed to mea­sure the dis­tance they were cov­er­ing, the Colum­bus Field track in Antigo­nish came in handy.

“It was so com­pet­i­tive,” Mary Lew said of the 70-to-74 age group in which they par­tic­i­pated.

“‘He’s not 70,’” Mac said, as they both laughed, re­flect­ing on the many high-cal­i­bre ath­letes they en­coun­tered.

Both ath­letes not only won medals, but also im­proved their times at na­tion­als that, Mac noted, in­di­cated the im­por­tance of train­ing and technique.

“It means you don’t nec­es­sar­ily slow down as you age,” he said.

They de­scribed the “in­spi­ra­tional” at­mos­phere they ex­pe­ri­enced, not­ing how ath­letes bat­tled in­juries but “kept go­ing.”

The cou­ple noted the Games, which took place on the Univer­sity of New Brunswick cam­pus, were “so well run.”

“We met tremen­dous peo­ple from all over Canada,” Mary Lew said.

They said their ex­pe­ri­ence would not have been pos­si­ble with­out the sup­port of fam­ily and friends, who made sure their five horses, chick­ens, cats and dog were be­ing taken care of back on the farm.

“It is a great goal – it is al­ways good to have goals,” Mary Lew said, when asked about what’s next for the hus­band-wife ath­letic tan­dem.

They will now train for the 2019 pro­vin­cial 55+ Games, which will take place in Antigo­nish.

“We are look­ing for­ward to com­pet­ing at home,” Mac said, not­ing they hope to find more mas­ter-level events to race in to help in their ef­fort.

They are fo­cused on se­cur­ing Team Nova Sco­tia in­vites for the next na­tional Games, which are slated for 2020 in Kam­loops, B.C.

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