I competed against the best ms Multi-eventers in the country this year and wanted to encourage athletes to take part in this most enjoyable event. The National Senior Championships are open to all athletes over 15 years of age and I at 45 like to push myself against these young talented athletes even though the hurdle distances and heights are different to those of Masters age groups I broke national records in the process, so it is all worth the effort of competing against younger athletes. The overall winner was Leona Byrne of St Lawrence O'Toole who won 4 of the 7 events .I won 3 of the 7 events but was not able to elevate myself to the great heights and speed of the 18 to 24 year old competitors placing overall 3rd place this year. I was first last year so must content myself with podium place this year only 2 days after returning from the World Championships in California and winning 4 silver medals and 9 Irish records was no mean feat for an over 45 athlete. So I shall rest on my laurels and give credit to Second place athlete Roisin Howard of Bandon in Cork and also a close run in with 4th place athlete Sarah Finnegan from Craughwell A.C. who kept me on my toes pushing through the injury's and pain barriers to the end of the competition.
I met a junior athlete in Italy while training in Portglenone outside of Lignano, She was happy to stop training for a moment to pose for a photo with me. She was so tall I was blown away by her presence. She was a high jump/triple jumper. She is a credit to all the tall women who struggle with their height. This is not a problem that I struggle with, as I am usually the smallest athlete in each event and am towered by most athletes.I am in awe at those women who are blessed with long legs and a long body. The hard thing is using your limbs to the best of your ability. It is hard to make those long limbs work fast, but look at Bolt and the long limbs he uses to run the 100m .What is hard is to change what people expect of you. If you are small you are not expected to jump high, if you are tall you should be good at high jump.Anything is possible if you work at it long enough. Progression may be slow but progression is still progress. Don't give up dreaming, working or progressing reaching your goal as all things are possible.
Russian athlete that was 2 ND to me in the 400m while competing at the European Masters Championship 2011
If nothing else competing at an International level helps you interact with different cultures, languages and it gives you a chance to make new friends with similar interests. In my recent trip to Lignano Italy I met some really lovely people not just from Italy. Fredricka the volunteer who spent the day guiding me around the local area and came training with me, while I practiced my new found knowledge in Pole vault she waited around stretching and practicing her very good English, witch was great to listen to in an Italian accent.We spent the night eating in a large restaurant that had seats for 800 people what a nice experience to meet a young girl heading to University and open doors for her to travel to Ireland some day and return the favour.
As I speak a little of 7 languages it is easy to start a conversation with other athletes, that always appreciate it when you talk there language even just to congratulate them in there sucess and share photos through facebook or by e-mail.
The more you give the more you get. When I visit another country I always bring some gifts that may be small but is always appreciated as a thoughtful gift can brighten up anybodys day especially when it is a surprise gift that is not expected and just for being friendly. I know I received a warm and genuine smile from Fiona Argent and Theresa Eades from the English team when I presented a small gift of lipstick and glitter pots to them. Their friendship and there support throughout the championships was wonderful, and I even found time to watch them polevalt and run their relays between our very busy schedule, their is always time to support each other as you are repaid ten fold. By the way congratulations to Theresa on her personal best performances, I hope to train with you in Dublin real soon and share our secrets to success.
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Geraldine Finegan won the most medals taking home 7 gold and 2 silver medals. The first event was the 2000m steeple chase which was scheduled the same day as the 400m hurdles, so I had to take it easy and just go for a win instead of going to break a record which was my original plan as I had a fall at the last World Championships I know I can do a better time if I stay clear of trouble in the race. I won the Steeplechase which was held at 9am so I had enough time to recover with the 400m Hurdles final at 5pm. I won that easily so slowed down over the last 150m to keep my energy for the next day which was the high jump. I was placed 4th but the pain in the hip from sciatica and a tight periformis muscle didn’t help much especially when I was taking off. I had visit daily to the physiotherapist on site a young man called Marco from Italy who was excellent at fractioning the area and releasing the contracted muscles. A Big thank you to him for following up on the work already started by Thomas Gillen from Mourne Chiropractic clinic in Newry. The next day feeling looser from the clinics great work I won the 400m with an exciting finish between myself and Estonia, Venezuela and a Czech girl, as I came from 4th place and only passed all 3 girls in the last 100m to win by a second in 63.12. Running directly from one part of the track to another Geraldine competed in the Pole-vault event for the first time at International level. She had received fantastic coaching training from the top Icelandic athlete Christian Gisssurarson which paid off with the flying Finegan taking second place and a New National record in the event.
The 80m Hurdles was next with a close finish from a very tall Italian and a fast fading Valentina Kreptekina taking third place in 13.79. The final time was very close in 13.10 and Italy in 13.25 I only finished with a hair and a tenth to spare.
The final day had 4 events scheduled first was the 800m. The night before the rain came down in buckets and the night sky was full of lightning and thunder, I had hoped it would clear for a nice bright day but unfortunately not the case. It was very wet dull and windy and this delayed the start of the programme with organizers wondering what to do with such bad circumstances. The show must go on, and so it did with great displays of speed and determination as one lady over 86 broke a world record another from Ireland was on her way to her 6th gold medal winning the 800m with 2 seconds to spare. The triple jump was next which although the Russian athlete Kreptikina seemed a clear favourite as she is world record holder she was within striking distance with only 20cm separating the Irish Super-woman and The unbeatable Russian. It was not to be and another silver medal was to follow for Geraldine.
Geraldine then was selected to run the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays running the last leg to win 2 more gold medals against the top Russian team with Germany in Third place.
That totalled 7 gold medals and 2 Silver and one Irish Record a great way to end the season. Geraldine would like to thank her sponsors and Mazu Gold a great food supplement to which she credits her phenomenal recovery rate to.
Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. I will try and keep you up to date on all my future Events, plus results from students competitions and training progress.