Starting out in veterans running
You are not alone! An analysis of over sixty UK-wide road races in 2000 showed that 40% of runners were male veterans and 16% were female veterans. Although the majority were members of athletics or running clubs, a sizeable number ran as 'unaffiliated'. The whole gamut of athletics is open to veterans, at all levels.
Types of athletics competitions you could get into
Road races are so easy to enter. All you need is some basic equipment, pay your fee and you are in. There are thousands of events throughout the country, from short runs to feats of endurance, which attract many amateur runners.
All ages can enjoy running
is mainly organised in leagues. A league will consist of a group of member clubs, which may meet perhaps five times during the season and accumulate carry-forward scores at each meeting. Clubs may field as many or as few runners as they wish, and although veterans run in races with seniors they are usually scored separately. There are also various open races and championship events.
Track and Field
offers a full programme to veterans - e.g. track sprinting, middle and long distance, hurdles, javelin and so on. There are a variety of leagues throughout the country which operate through the summer months, often as qualifiers to a regional final through county based leagues. There may be a range of discrete competitions in ten-year age bands, depending on demand. It is nice not to have to suffer defeat from forty-year old youngsters when you are sixty!
If you enjoy running off road, there's another side to racing. Trail and fell racing are becoming increasingly popular and there are plenty of clubs you could join and races you could enter.
Dave Walsh has been organising road, cross country and track events, from local to international level, for most of his life. He competes internationally as a vet, has been a British ultra distance team manager and has been Welsh Road Race secretary.
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