80-year-old not slow­ing down

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - JAMES PAUL

At the age of 80, Peter Hanson is prov­ing dif­fi­cult to slow down.

He just re­turned home from Dar­win with four medals around his neck from the Aus­tralian Mas­ters Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships to add to his ever-grow­ing col­lec­tion.

Hanson flew in six hours be­fore his first event, the 60-me­tre dash, and was ready to hit the ground run­ning. While he is more of a long-dis­tance run­ner, he ‘‘was quite proud’’ of cross­ing the line in sec­ond place.

‘‘There were seven in the race, and it was only the world cham­pion that beat me.’’

Later that day he threw an 8.86m in the 3kg shot put to break a Welling­ton cen­tre record and claim a Mas­ters bronze medal.

‘‘I had been throw­ing nine me­tres be­fore I went away but I was feel­ing a bit stiff that day.’’

Not one to slow down, Hanson then placed sec­ond in the 100m later that evening.

‘‘It went pretty good. The guy that beat me was the same fel­low who fin­ished ahead of me in the 60 me­tre race.’’

The next day, the Aotea res­i­dent se­cured gold in his bread and but­ter event, the 5000m.

‘‘I’m more of a jack of all trades, master of none. That longer race was more of a tac­ti­cal one. I heard that this guy, who I hadn’t come across be­fore, was a good run­ner.

‘‘So, I thought ‘well, I’ll just stay be­hind him and see what hap­pens later on in the race’.’’

Af­ter about four or five laps, Hanson’s pa­tience paid off.

‘‘He sud­denly stopped, I think he was hav­ing trou­ble with his shoes. Any­way, I went ahead of him and never saw him again un­til the fin­ish.’’

Hanson uses his ac­tive life­style as an out­let fol­low­ing the death of his wife Nola 18 months ago, and to con­nect with friends who sup­ported him at the time.

He walks 20km three times a week, com­pletes a 5km Park Run ev­ery Satur­day and sees his per­sonal trainer once a week for strength train­ing. ‘‘The born and bred, and thick in head’’ York­shire­man isn’t shy of show­ing off his medals.

You might have read about him in the past - as one of New Zealand’s top run­ners for his age, he has fea­tured sev­eral times in the lo­cal news over the years.

But his re­cent achieve­ment only proves one thing - ‘‘I have had my fair share of suc­cess and I’ll make sure it con­tin­ues,’’ Hanson said.

He has now set his sights on Christchurch’s Na­tional Road Cham­pi­onships in Septem­ber, the Ocea­nia Games in Jan­uary, as well as the New Zealand Cham­pi­onships and Aus­tralian Cham­pi­onships again next year.

‘‘There is no fun in just go­ing out for a run. I do it be­cause I like to beat some­body else, when I can.’’

Peter Hanson doesn’t like sit­ting around for long, and re­cently came home from the Aus­tralian Mas­ters Ath­let­ics Cham­pi­onships in Dar­win with four medals.

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