During our summer shutdown Ian Fitzpatrick of Lattimer had the honour of representing Great Britain in the European Masters Athletics Championship held in Aarhus Denmark. Attended by 42 countries and over 4500 competitors.
Ian raced in the 400 and 800mtrs and such was his performance in the 400mtrs that he was selected to run the 4 x 400mtrs relay. Ian has been involved in mountaineering for most of his life, and his running career started only 4 years ago when he attended an Alpine mountaineering introduction course which enabled him to climb his first 4000mtr peak.
One of the criteria’s for this was to be able to run for 45 mins. At the time he could not do this. So this made him join a local running group, which to cut a long story short, spotted his natural talent for speed.
This year is only his second year of track running having spent the first two years road and fell running. Ian said “It’s been an amazing couple of years, I’m now receiving training from a professional coach and have my fiancé as a running partner. Herself a well established 400mtrs hurdler with international status.”
The Masters running enables age related running. Once over the age of 35, runners are grouped in 5 year groupings. Ian being 54 ran in the M50 category. Competing at the top of his age group it was always going to be a tall order to reach any finals. However, he did manage a massive PB in the 400mtrs and had a good solid heat in the 800mtrs.
The icing on the cake, however, was to be selected for the GB M50 men’s relay team. Running the last leg (the glory leg) he managed to bring the team home just outside medal position in 4th, but again running another PB.
Unfortunately, Masters Athletics is not subsidised so all costs of travel, accommodation including the purchase of the GB kit (alone being excess of £250) has to be paid by the individual. It is a huge commitment. Training takes up a minimum 3 nights a week at a local athletics track. Usually taking up 3 hours each time.
Next major competitions on the horizons are the European Masters indoors in Madrid during March 2018. Due to time and money constraints Ian will only be competing in the 400mtr for this one.
Saving holidays and money to compete at the World masters champs in Malaga in September 2018. Where he’ll be again competing in the 400 and 800mtrs and maybe the 200mtrs. By then he’ll be 55 so a relative youngster, competing at the bottom of his age group and hoping for higher placing and who knows maybe a medal.
The GB M50 4 x 400mtrs relay team;
Left to right:- Donald Brown, Ian Fitzpatrick, Ian Allen and Leeroy Golding.
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