By Major Serge Faucher, RCAF Athlete –
The North, Central America and Caribbean Region of World Masters Athletics Championships (NCCWMA) came to an end on 21 July, 2019 in Toronto. The NCCWMA is one of several regional world-level championships. 1100 athletes from 33 countries competed across 18 athletic events over four days in four separate venues.
As I turned 53, and then 54, the last couple of years, have become increasingly more difficult to medal at major championships for all the obvious reasons. One of the great motivations to join the ranks of Masters Track and Field is that the “clock” resets every five years. In our sport, athletes get to compete in a five-year age group, which gives you something to look forward to as you age. In short, you are the youngest in that group every five years!
While I was in excellent shape for my M55 category debut, I sustained a calf injury three weeks before the big meet. The forced rest slowed me down a little as the last few weeks before competing are crucial for that final tuning. Nevertheless, I managed to bounce back and salvage my season by finishing a strong fourth in the 400m Finals (56.69 sec). My 400m time places me 13th overall in the world rankings for an outdoor season, which is the highest I’ve ever placed. Two days later, I happily picked up a bronze medal in the 200m Finals against some very fast sprinters and a nasty 3.0 m/s head wind!
I rounded up the four day track meet running the anchor leg on the 4 X 100m relay, stepping down to my old age group (M50) to land them a hand, which earned us a silver medal behind the American team.
As I said goodbye to the NCCWMA 2019 championships, next year’s summer season was already on my mind as Toronto will be hosting the 2020 World Masters Athletics Championships. Time to get back to training!
Photos submitted by Major Serge Faucher
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