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