Silver medal for steeplechaser

BY STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 18/09/2009
Walter Hume
JOHN BISSET/Timaru Herald
RUNNING MAN: Timaru septuagenarian Walter Hume has returned home from the World Masters Athletics Championships in Finland with a silver medal.

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Timaru 70-year-old Walter Hume is keeping pace with the best runners in the world.

Hume has returned from the XVIII World Masters Athletics Championships in Lahti, Finland, with a silver medal.

The veteran finished second to world record holder Allan Bradford in the 2000m steeplechase in the 70 to 74-year-old section.

Hume was reeling him in at the finish, having gone out slowly after suffering from a sciatic nerve problem but still stopped the clock at 8 minutes 26.85 seconds.

"The injury slowed me down but I tried to get fit, hoping it would come right.

"At the end I was catching him but he beat me by about six seconds."

Fewer than 20 Kiwis competed among the 2500 athletes at the championships.

The septuagenarian also returned home as a British Masters Track and Field champion after winning gold in the 2000m steeplechase in a British and all-comers record of 8m 54:95s.

Hume collected a full set of medals in Birmingham finishing second in the 1500m and third in the 800m.

Because of his leg problems, Hume is looking to change to duathlons rather than just running, after 30 years in the sport

"The bike will mean I can get off my legs a bit and it will keep me motivated."

Hume said another highlight of the trip was training in Stockholm's Olympic Stadium.

"It had a great feeling and was unusual because it was made from brick."

He and his wife Heather also took the opportunity to do some touring on their eight-week sojourn, including catching up with their Moscow-based daughter.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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