SHOALHAVEN athlete Lynda Douglass is living proof that it is never too late to take up sprint running.
Douglass started competitive running in 2008 after her sons started sprint training to improve their team sport performance.
“So I thought, ‘why don’t I join in?’ Well, I joined in and they stopped,” she laughed.
Despite now being classified as a veteran of the sport, Douglass has had a busy couple of years on the national sprinting stage.
At the 2012 Australian Athletics Masters games in Melbourne, she claimed five gold medals for the 60, 100 and 200 metre sprints, and the 4x100 and 4x400 metre relays.
Because of this, she achieved the Nowra Athletics Club’s The Frank McCaffrey Top Performance award.
In November 2012, Douglass attended the Pan Pacific Masters Games on the Gold Coast and claimed silver in the 60 metres, bronze in the 100 metre and fourth in the 200 metres.
Douglass said she has always played sport to give her an outlet to release the energy built-up over the day working in an office.
Although her main sport was touch football, she has also been involved with the Nowra Culburra Surf Lifesaving Club.
She now trains two days a week with a trainer for sprinting, as well as doing Pilates and strength training.
“I just do athletics now. This is enough. I haven’t got enough hours in the day,” she laughed.
Douglass encouraged anyone considering taking up running later in life to give the sport a go.
“That is the beauty of masters. Everyone is really friendly. We travel together and have a really great time,” she said.
“We look at the pictures after the race and complain about the mistakes we made.”
Douglass said the highlight of her running career was competing at the World Masters Games in Sydney in 2009, where she won gold in the beach sprint event.
“It was such an amazing experience and was very professional. The final was like the Olympics,” she said.
Douglass continues to improve on her sprint times, with 13.02 being her fastest time over 100 metres.
“But that’s the beauty of running. You only have to do it once,” she laughed.
“I would love to continue running, as long as my body lets me. So far so good.”