Still In the Running

Masters runner Les Calder, 58, of Gordonvale, Queensland, has been running all his life

“I’ve been running all my life. When I was in primary school I was never beaten and then again in high school, never beaten. I played footy and I was fast. In my late 30s I had a bet with the local PE teacher that I’d beat him over 100 metres. He just laughed. I beat him!

“My father, Chic, was a Masters swimmer. I’ve still got his swim bag at home. When I saw the ad for the Great Barrier Reef Masters I thought I’d give it a go. I’m running the 60 and 100m. The old swim bag will definitely be coming with me.

“I don’t take running as seriously as I once did – although I’ll take the Masters event seriously! But, if I don’t get to train or run on a certain day I don’t get all worked up about it. “I’ve been injury free for most of my life. I think it’s good genes. My uncle, way back in the 1930s, ran in the Stawell Gift.

“I ran with the Hash Harriers for more than 20 years. Now I mostly run with my dogs. I take them out everyday and just mix up my runs with some sprints, hills, running backwards, through long grass – it’s all the stuff we did in footy training.

“Last month I had a “Cliffy Young” moment. I spent two weeks in the outback, living it rough and just running. It was great strength training.

“It’s the solitude you get from running that I love. Running lets me work things out, although, now it’s not as mentally intense as it was. Having said that I have put quite a bit of thought into these races coming up. I don’t know what the world record is or even what my PB is but I’ll definitely be giving it a red hot crack.”


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