World Masters Track and Field Championships – Perth, Australia

Barrie Roberts Reports: My wife Katie and I had the pleasure and privilege of watching/participating in the WMA T&F Championships which this year took place in Perth,Western Australia (one of the world’s most isolated cities!). Since returning home, numerous people have asked me how things went; thus, this somewhat belated Report.

We were part of the GB&NI Team/Supporters. 92 countries were represented in the Championships,and GB&NI ended up third in the Medal Table i.e. behind Australia and the USA.

I ran quite well at times ,and for the most part enjoyed the challenge. However, attending world championships can be “a reality check!” I did prepare for the Championships, but when the time came I was not as `race-fit` as I would have liked to have been. There can be a real quandary to face in this many events should one enter? Does one race flat out,or semi-race some events i.e. in the hope of `keeping ones powder dry` —- in the hope of achieving another goal. Form and confidence are also issues to be mindful of —- And when push comes to
shove, some of us prefer to participate rather than just watch the proceedings from afar. Having said that, there is much to be said for at least occasionally watching, supporting and encouraging ones fellow athletes i.e. being part of a Team (There is invariably a great team spirit at these overseas championships – and whilst good performances
are sought,participation is also appreciated and valued.)

Whilst in Perth I competed in the following events:-

26th October – 8k XC. Position 15th – 42:58

27th October – 800m Heat 2. Position 7th – 3:10.38

29th October – 5000m Final. Position 17th – 24:15.29

4th November – 1500m S2. Position 6th – 6:22.02

6th November – 1500m Final. Position 13th – 6:28.83

6th November – 4X400m Relays. Position –  Team 4th

The WMA T&F Champs in Perth took place at the end of their Spring and the beginning of Summer.At times temperatures approached 40 degrees Centigrade, and humidity was very high. Furthermore it could be quite
windy track-side/roadside. eg.the `Freemantle Doctor`blew from the west most afternoons from about 2pm. Performances have therefore be put into context.

`We`also managed to do some sight-seeing during 2 rest days.The Australians were very welcoming and hospitable. The sun was in the North and crossed the sky from right to left.We were warned that there were poisonous snakes about. I swam in the sea off Freemantle but failed to walk on the water! Oh and I checked on the direction of the water rotating in the wash basin! Finally, I would want to thank Katie (who is a very good Team Manager), my fellow athletes and my Masseur PH for their support/encouragement. Championships can be quite demanding/challenging. Yes I was on a `working holiday!`

One Reply to “World Masters Track and Field Championships – Perth, Australia”

  1. Well done Barry, on the racing in ‘extreme’ conditions, on the astronomical references (as obvious as it may seem I’d never considered the ‘opposite;’ nature of the Sun down-under) and on being a role model to us all!