Old but gold

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Who says one is too old to be competing in a track & field event?

Ask Colin Gordon, a 63-year-old England-born American who has chosen to live in Dumaguete City.

Gordon swept gold in five events: 100 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters, 800 meters, and 4×100-meter relay in the Philippine Masters Athletic Championship, held May 4 to 5 at the Philsports Track & Field Oval in Pasig City.

Gordon was also presented the Most Valuable Athlete trophy.

You would think that at 63 years of age, he must be a seasoned athlete by now, or that he had been a runner most of his life.

In fact, Gordon just started running again six months ago in October last year.

He used to run track and field during his high school in England where they called him ‘Flash Gordon’ — from the 1930s comic character sci-fi space traveler who gained a superpower of speed.

Then Gordon stopped running after high school.

I met Colin Gordon during our regular track workout at the Perdices Stadium Oval. I was watching him run, and I thought this guy is the real deal. His form is smooth, and indeed, he is fast as lightning.

I couldn’t believe him when he told me he just resumed running a couple of months ago that time in December.

So Gordon ran his first-ever five-kilometer road race in Pamplona with a time of 23:06, and got 3rd place in the 40-year old & above age category.

He actually has a knack for speed, and he likes fast cars and fast motorcycles. It‘s no surprise then why he likes to run fast.

He said he finds a 5K race “too far” and that he gets tired running fast for more than 20 minutes.

Gordon does all his runs around the Perdices Oval at least four times a week. To break the boredom of hamster-like run, he began doing sprints where he meticulously timed his run in 200-meter segments.

He always wants to break his previous time, each time he sprints 200 meters.

Trying to find a track & field meet that includes his age group, Gordon found the Masters Athletic Championship.

Then he began to seriously train on his own by reading books and journals about track & field. He didn’t hire a coach to train him, and thought he could do it on his own by focusing on hitting the time he wanted for the sprints, and just being ready for his first-ever track and field race.

Here are some snippets of our conversation:

Q: What was your mental preparation for race day?

Colin Gordon: Empty the mind. Then pray.

Q: What was your strategy for the 100, 200, 400, and 800- meter races?

Gordon: My strategy was just to go full out sprinting, with no holding anything back.

Q: Did you expect to win, considering you were competing for the first time in sprints against a strong field of athletes?

Gordon: I just focused on world record times. I didn’t expect anything but when I started, I just knew I was heading our for success!

Q: Tell us what you were thinking about racing against a National Champion in your age group?

Gordon: I was told after the race that Julio (I think that’s his name) was a champion, and ran for the national team, and  that he always wins, and that we would all just eat his dust. But it didn’t bother me. I just focused on the race ahead of me, and didn’t let my mind think any other thoughts. I just stayed in the moment, and ready to face the fear, if it arose. And then I won all races!

Q: What is your long-term plan after this?

Gordon: My long-term goal is to break world records for seniors like me.

Q: What advice can you give to senior citizens like you who may want to get into a sport regimen, like competing in track & field?

Gordon: Start slowly; small improvements lead to the next step. Don’t bite more than you can chew. Focus on the now!

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Author’s email: [email protected]

 

 

 

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