Masters ath­lete lost count of medals

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Peter Han­son frames his medals that he wins at each ath­let­ics meet, and he’s fast run­ning out of wall space.

He com­peted at the Whanganui Masters Games over Fe­bru­ary 9 and 10 and cleaned up in the 75-plus age group cat­e­gory, win­ning gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m and shot put.

He took sil­ver in the javelin – an event he de­cided to en­ter at the last minute – and cross-coun­try.

While there is a smaller num­ber of com­peti­tors at his age, it does not mean the ri­valry is less fierce.

‘‘There’s my­self and a cou­ple of other guys in New Zealand who know each other well. We’re pretty com­pet­i­tive.’’

The 75-year-old Aotea Sum­mer­set res­i­dent played sport at school but took up run­ning se­ri­ously af­ter he was made re­dun­dant from his job at age 58. He says get­ting fit saved his life and he never lacks mo­ti­va­tion.

‘‘I used to gasp go­ing up a flight of stairs, it wasn’t good. I just love the com­pe­ti­tion at the Masters Games, see­ing old friends and when you have good run­ning part­ners, they keep you go­ing as well.

‘‘If I had to do it by my­self and it was rain­ing out­side, I might think twice. The peo­ple that really in­spire me are the run­ners at the Par­a­lympics – when you see what they are achiev­ing you think ‘Why can’t I do that?’’’

Han­son trains ev­ery other day, al­ter­nat­ing be­tween ses­sions at BodyLab in Welling­ton and run­ning around Aotea La­goon. Aside from a hip com­plaint a few years ago, he has suf­fered no in­juries.

His eight medals in Whanganui will be framed, like so many oth­ers. He hon­estly can’t re­mem­ber how many Masters’ medals he has col­lected over the years but a lack of wall space in the apart­ment he lives in with his wife is be­com­ing a con­cern.

Han­son is now tar­get­ing the Masters na­tion­als in Welling­ton in early March, where he will en­ter the pen­tathlon, 60m and shot put, be­fore set­ting his sights much higher – the World Masters games in Brazil in Oc­to­ber.

In both com­pe­ti­tions he will con­cen­trate on just two or three events. He hits the tape at 35 sec­onds in the 200m but says his heart has al­ways been in mid­dledis­tance run­ning. He is a proud mem­ber of Olympic Har­ri­ers and makes spe­cial men­tion of coach Amanda Gold­smith.

Medal­list: Aotea’s Peter Han­son is one of the top run­ners for his age in New Zealand, as ev­i­denced by his lat­est medal haul at a Masters’ event in Whanganui.

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