Keep moving, says Vernon masters track and field athlete Will Harrower, or time will catch you.
The Soda Stream and magazine vendor moves pretty fast for a 50-year-old and does some throwing, too, for good measure, evidenced by the five medals he collected July 29-31 at the 47th Annual Canadian Masters Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Regina.
Harrower, who turned 50 in January, won two gold medals, two silver and one bronze from his six events in the 50-54 age group at the Canada Games Athletic Complex at Douglas Park in Saskatchewan’s capital city.
One of the silvers came in the 200-metre dash with Martin Forest of Quebec edging out Harrower by .07 seconds, 28.18 to 28.25.
“One more stride and I would have beat him,” laughed Harrower on a break from work on B.C. Day Monday, Aug. 1.
His gold medals came in the 100m in a season-best time of 13.34 seconds, beating out Colin Ellis of the host club by .14 seconds, and in the shot put with a heave of 10.48 metres, easily outdistancing Kier Wison of Sherwood Park, Alta (8.93m).
He also captured silver in the 400m run in a time of one minute 10.13 seconds.
Harrower took bronze in the weight throw, which is tossing an indoor 25-pounds version of the hammer in the hammer throw. His result was 9.93m.
Harrower was fifth in another field event, the discus.
“I was using that as a time filler,” he said. “I threw a season best and was throwing well, but I had to go run the 400 metres.”
Harrower was ecstatic with his results in Regina, though claims it’s a rare weekend he walks away from a competition happy.
“I look at the performance list and I’m thinking, ‘I could walk away with nothing,’” he said of the competition he’d be facing. “My times and distances coming up to the meets, I’m never happy with my times. But my 100 metres was .36 seconds faster than season best, the 200 metres was a little slower and the 400 metres, I took 5.77 seconds off my best time time.
“It was a good meet.”
In his 31st season of competitive track and field, Harrower began as a runner but when he developed some issues with an achilles tendon, he turned to throwing.
“My (two) boys were in track and I thought I could throw,” he said. “I dropped it when the injury went away and focused on running, but got back into throwing because I missed the guys, I missed the heavy throwing, I just missed doing it and practising it.”
Harrower works out five-to-eight times a week, either indoors at the gym or outdoors at the Greater Vernon Athletics Park track oval. He’s got several good reasons for staying involved in the sport.
“There’s the camaraderie with the guys. I’ve made a lot of friends over the country and around the world, and I look forward to seeing them,” he said. “It keeps me in shape. I think I probably love the training more than the competition. I love going in and punishing my body, and having it respond.
“It’s a mental battle, too, and I enjoy that as well. And it keeps me young.”
Harrower will compete later this month at the B.C. Masters Championships in Langley.