Hanson’s like a fine wine
He’s getting better with age
Peter Hanson may be 77 and living in a retirement village, but that hasn’t stopped the Porirua great-grandfather touring the globe representing New Zealand on the world athletics stage.
Back home, he has already cleaned up in two national competitions this year.
He often returns from competitions with medals, which he frames and puts up on the wall in his retirement village unit – but he is fast running out of wall space.
‘‘I‘ve got about 30 medals in total,’’ he said proudly.
‘‘Oh, I’ve only counted the golds. I’ve also got numerous silvers and bronzes.’’
One thing that has eluded him is a world masters title – his best in three attempts is a silver.
At the New Zealand masters games in February he came away with six gold medals from 60m to 1500m, and managed 7min 30s in the 1500m.
In the field events at the masters games, he traded places with a slightly younger competitor, and was beaten for the first time since 2009.
‘‘I beat him in the shot put and he beat me in the discus,’’ he said.
This month March, he competed at the New Zealand masters athletics tournament in Tauranga and cut back on his number of events because he was expecting tougher competition.
He won the 1500m, and the 800m in satisfying time of 3min 45s, but was runnerup in the shot put.
‘‘I got beaten for the first time in four years by a young guy coming through.’’
That ‘‘ young guy’’ is 75. Hanson has vowed to improve.
He does weight training at the Summerset Aotea retirement village, where he lives with his wife, Nola,.
Hanson is planning to go to Raratonga in October to compete in the Oceania championships.
Next year he is targeting the world masters championships.
However, he felt his best chance of earning a world title would come in 2017 at the world masters games in Auckland, when he will have ‘‘aged up’’ – meaning he will be the youngest competing in his age group.
‘‘I will turn 80 the day it starts. I might be a bit more competitive. I’m motivated to win.’’
He is unsure what he’d do if he wasn’t involved in athletics – but he is sure he wouldn’t be sitting around.
‘‘I’d probably play a bit of golf,’’ he said.