Masters athlete lost count of medals
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.