Re­tir­ing af­ter decades on the run­ning track

The Invercargill Eye - - YOUR HEALTH - JOANNA GRIF­FITHS

Af­ter decades of com­pet­ing at a na­tional level, South­land sprinter Rose Heyrick is call­ing it a day.

The 55-year-old has de­cided to re­tire from track athletics.

Heyrick com­peted in the 2017 World Mas­ter Games ear­lier this year, plac­ing sec­ond in her age group for the 100 and 400 me­tre sprint and plac­ing third in the 200m sprint.

She made the de­ci­sion to re­tire soon af­ter the event, Heyrick said.

‘‘Com­pet­ing at a world level is a good note to fin­ish on.

‘‘I don’t need to prove my­self any­more, I have done the best I can.’’

The World Mas­ter Games had been a tough com­pe­ti­tion for Heyrick be­cause of the sud­den death of her coach and close friend Jim Glas­son in Septem­ber last year.

Glas­son had been her coach for a long time, and his death was very hard on her, she said.

Af­ter all the hard work Glas­son had put into her train­ing, Heyrick was de­ter­mined to com­pete and bring home a medal in his hon­our.

‘‘I re­ally wanted to win it for Jim.’’

The de­ci­sion to re­tire was a hard one, but it was the right one, she said.

‘‘It’s not get­ting any eas­ier for me.

‘‘I have got­ten to the stage in my life when it’s dif­fi­cult to train in­ten­sively on my own.

‘‘There are very few ath­letes com­pet­ing in my age group in South­land.’’

Heyrick, who is a life mem­ber of the In­ver­cargill Athletics Club, first started com­pet­i­tive run­ning in school.

With a hand­ful of medals to her name, Heyrick de­cided to put athletics on hold when she was 26 to fo­cus on hav­ing a fam­ily.

She got back into the sport less than 10 years later, com­pet­ing in the New Zealand Masters Track and Field Cham­pi­onships when she was 34.

Since then, she had been se­lected to com­pete in more than 15 na­tional level com­pe­ti­tions and cham­pi­onships, claim­ing more than 45 medals. ‘‘I have had a re­ally good run.’’ She may be re­tir­ing from com­pet­ing but that didn’t mean she would com­pletely re­tire from the sport, Heyrick said.

‘‘I am still an ac­tive club and com­mit­tee mem­ber, noth­ing will change that.’’

She was even con­sid­er­ing tak­ing up coach­ing.

JOANNA GRIF­FITHS/FAIRFAX NZ

South­lander Rose Heyrick, 55, is re­tir­ing from the track af­ter com­pet­ing at a na­tional level for 15 years and win­ning more than 45 medals.

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