Two local runners may have been small fish in a big pond, but they were certainly in their element at the 2011World Masters Track and Field Championships.
Making the recent trip to Sacramento, California representing the Oceanside Running Club Association were long-time ORCAs Heather Beatty and Laurie Ritchie.
Heather was competing in the Women’s 55-59 age group’s 8K Cross Country event, and placed seventh out of a field of 31.
The temperature was in the low 90s, she said, “and it was a very hilly course … I was pleased with my result.
It was her first time competing at the Worlds, and the biggest event she’s ever been part of.
“Four thousand people from all over the world … it was a really big event; it was amazing,” Heather said.
“We just got home a half an hour ago.”
The World Championships are open to anyone over the age of 35, and there were about 300 Canadians in the mix. Held every two years, the next event is the 2013 World Championships in Brazil.
“I’m thinking about it,” she chuckled when asked if she’ll be competing in that one.
Heather has been running with Team ORCA since its inception in the early ‘90s.
The World Championships, she says, was “an amazing place to be. The fitness level was so high … it was fun to watch.”
Watching legendary runner Zola Budd finish the Women’s 35-54 CC race, she said “was amazing.”
Good friend and ORCA teammate Laurie made it to the semifinal in her 100m Sprint event (Women’s 50-54), ran a great semi-final, but did not advance.
“She was ecstatic just to have made it through the first round. That was her first 100m in 21 years, so she did awesome.”
Heather gets a few days off, then it’s right back into training for the 8k half-marathon in Victoria in October.