Begin­ner run­ner finds her call­ing at 60 years old

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - SAMHEWAT

For some ath­letes, break­ing a record can take years of hard train­ing.

For 60-year-old Chris­tine Adam­son, it’s taken just 12 months.

The Par­nell res­i­dent is shat­ter­ing any ar­gu­ments of old age along with a hand­ful of run­ning records de­spite only start­ing to run com­pet­i­tively last year.

She picked up four gold medals at the re­cent World Mas­ters Games in Auck­land and won the Wai­heke 10km road race last month in a record time, beat­ing ath­letes a third of her age to fin­ish first across all age groups.

And she ad­mit­ted it wasn’t some­thing she thought would hap­pen.

‘‘I just started en­ter­ing 10km road events just for fun,’’ Adam­son said.

‘‘I found af­ter a while I could al­ways win my age group so then I got in­ter­ested in see­ing how much fur­ther I could go with it.’’

As it turned out, she could go very far.

In the last 12 months, Adam­son has bro­ken the Auck­land Mas­ters Records for the women 60 age group in the 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, 10,000m, and 10km road race.

She holds three NZ Mas­ters ti­tles in the 1500m, 5000, and 10,000m.

‘‘It’s al­most like it’s taken me a long time in my life to find my niche,’’ Adam­son said.

‘‘I had never stepped on a proper ath­let­ics track in my life un­til July last year.’’

She’s also just two sec­onds off the New Zealand Mas­ters record for 1500m, which she’ll look to break this year.

Next year, she’ll fly to Spain to com­pete in the World Mas­ters Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships - the most com­pet­i­tive ath­let­ics com­pe­ti­tion in the world for her age.

She runs six times a week in­clud­ing a run from her doorstep to St He­liers and back - 18km in to­tal. She also at­trib­uted her suc­cess to trainer Hayden Shear­man who picked her up when she started a year ago.

Be­fore tak­ing to the track, Adam­son was dread­ing turning 60, but run­ning has opened up a whole new world.

‘‘Its never too late to take up that thing you al­ways se­cretly wanted to do,’’ she said.

‘‘Per­haps when you were younger you knew you were good at some­thing and you can come back and do it at any time.’’

Adam­son works full-time for the Min­istry of So­cial Devel­op­ment.

‘‘It's taken me a long time in my life to find my niche’’

SAM HE­WAT/FAIR­FAX NZ

Chris­tine Adam­son is break­ing records on the ath­let­ics track at age 60, af­ter pick­ing up com­pet­i­tive run­ning just one year ago.

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