Moira's a Golden Girl

Moira West with her medals

Moira West with her medals

First published in Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

She seems like an unlikely British Championships 100m gold medallist.

But 65-year-old Moira West is proving that it is never too late to take up sport.

The Winchester & District runner has just returned from the British Masters Athletics Federation Championships with four gold medals.

The Winchester veteran’s answer to multi-event London 2012 Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis recently smashed the British W65 400m record with a time of 73.58 seconds and claimed top spot in each of her four events at Alexander Stadium over the weekend – the 400m (74.90s), 100m (15.29s), 200m (31.58s), and long jump with a personal best 3.92m.

It was 21 years ago that West decided to give track and field a go and she’s not looked back since.

She advises anyone thinking they are past their best to rethink and try athletics.

“I took up track and field quite late but I love it, its great fun,” said West.

“Winchester & District welcome any mature athletes or people who want to try it out – it’s never too late to give something a go.”

The veteran came back from the Championships in Birmingham with the Winchester team where they won five medals in total.

Four of them were West’s, while Sally Serridge grabbed a silver in W45 group javelin, throwing an impressive 25.20m.

Meanwhile, Andy Gannaway ran a tactical race in his 800m heat.

He qualified in third place for the final and claimed 5th place in the final with a time of 2min 22.78s.

Another of Winch’s vets, Kathryn Miles, took 5th in W40 group 100m in 13.87secs and took a 5th in the 200m in 29.63secs – both PB times.

Miles’s next target will be the 60m at the National Indoor Championships in the spring, while West is preparing for the European Masters Outdoor Championships later this month in Izmir, Turkey.

The Winchester veteran’s team is for all athletes over 35-years-old.

On offer is track, field, road running and cross country.

West was 46 when she decided to join and was in her 50’s before she raced on the track.

Miles, who hadn’t run since her schooldays, has been running at the club for just two-years.

“We enjoy the summer veterans’ monthly competitions in the Hants Surrey League and we’ve reached the regional finals in Ashford next month,” said West. “These friendly, mixed ability meetings give members a chance to try out their new and old events – come along and give it a try.”

For more information on how to get involved contact Karen Hazlitt at vets@wadac.org.uk or visit wadac.org.uk.

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