Becoming a Veteran

On Sunday I decided to run my first stand alone ( ie no swim or bike ) 10km for over 3 and a 1/2 years. Ok so that’s not really a significant thing but what was significant was the fact that I am now officially racing under UK athletics rules as a veteran.

I’ve reached a certain age, above 40, where I now get a specific age group, I get to race against other people who are no longer classed as young. I queue up now to register and as well as my race number, safety pins and on a good day a smile from the volunteer I get handed a packet of complan, a brochure for zimmer frames, and a packet of Tena pants. Ok, ok so those last few aren’t true but you get the idea, I’m now no longer classed as among the general population of runners. I’m old and deserve to be recognised as such. On the results I get extra letters added “MV40” it’s almost like a secret handshake. Is it just my imagination or are people with grey hair now nodding at me pre-race, they realise I’ve joined the club, I’m one of them. I swear I woke up with more wrinkles on Sunday morning in preparation for this race. I’ve become a veteran.

One good thing about being a veteran is that I have a good excuse to run slow you know “Oh well I’m not as young as I used to be, it wasn’t a bad performance for a veteran.” Also it sounds much better saying “I was 18th in my age group” rather than saying “I was 111th out of 309 finishers”. Hmmm maybe this being a veteran is going to be ok. Come to think of it I’ve had grey hair, missing teeth, aching limbs and memory loss for years, so not much has changed, thankfully my waterworks don’t leak, so I’ve fit the role physically for years, now I guess I’ve caught up on paper.

The race itself was great, very icy under foot but I just wanted to set a benchmark time to work on beating next year. I don’t feel anywhere near racing shape but at this time of the season that isn’t too bad. I finished in 46.35 – I’m happy with that, I reckon I’ve got a sub 45 in me in about a month, and that by the summer I’ll be challenging my pb of 41 minutes. BUT 46.35 is a pb as a veteran 🙂

I just have to remember age is only a number, but you know what I’m going to enjoy being a veteran, I might actually get better with age….

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6 responses to “Becoming a Veteran

  1. You are and will continue to get better (faster, stronger, wiser) with age!! I’ve only ever been a runner/triathlete as a “Veteran” (master’s here) and haven’t known anything else. But I like having that separate division!!

  2. Stephen Bolland

    Did the Dovedale Dash last month and the lady on the desk asked me if I was over 61! She said she wanted to save me £1 on the entry. My mate used up more energy laughing at her comments than he did in the race. Steve MV50.

  3. Cheer up, women runners are veterans at 35 and over (grrr) – is it the same for female triathletes?

  4. Welcome to the club old boy. I reckon you can still get quicker for at least 15 years. Age is no excuse – look at those you train with -Messrs Rogerson, Knapp, Phillips, , Mason, Ley, and Mrs Patterson are all significantly your elder. In fact were almost all a bunch of old duffers! Triathlon is great, in that as you approach a ‘significant’ birthday, you embrace it and look forward to it as an opportunity to perform well in a new age group, rather than an opportunity for a life crisis. So, Kona 2042 for you, and no excuses!

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