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Canadian Masters Athletics

Introduction to Episode 214 of The Athlete's Podcast - Watch on YouTube here.

  • Host David Stark shares his passion for celebrating athletes of all ages, not just those in major leagues like the NFL or NBA.

  • Features four Canadian Masters Athletics competitors: Karla, Dala, Carrie, and Carolyn, showcasing their commitment and performance in track and field beyond the age of 35.

Karla, Dala, Carrie, and Carolyn's Backgrounds

  • Carrie Oswald: Lives in Belleville, Ontario, and is a sprinter competing in various track events. Inspired by Karla Del Grande, the 56-year-old sprinter has been competing as a Canadian Masters Athlete since she turned 50. She decided to start a fitness journey to prepare for the challenge of racing in the 60m, 100m and 200m events and over the next two years, she worked on strength, power, running mechanics and endurance to reach her goal. Her love of short sprints and the inspiration she found in connecting with the Masters community led her to try hurdles for the first time at 53 when she competed and won gold in Regina at the Canadian Masters Outdoor Championships in 300mH. Carrie’s favourite mantra is - there are never any obstacles you can’t get over if you have the right mindset. 

  • Karla: Del Grande is a 70-year-old sprinter, from Scarborough, ON. She sprinted as a kid, kept active during her teaching career, while coaching her students, and then started road races (5K, 10K, Half Marathons) in her mid-forties. When she found out that adults can still compete in sprinting, she came back at age 50 to her first love ... sprinting. She competes in 60m, 200m, 400m, and at age 65, added the long hurdles (300m outdoors). She's most proud of being selected as World Masters Athletics Female Athlete of the Decade, from 2010 to 2019, as it speaks to her longevity, and that's her goal ... to keep doing this as long as possible, for the fun, fitness, and friendships that she's found from the training and competing. 

  • Carolyn: Coffin is a 46-year-old middle-to-long-distance runner who lives in Winnipeg, MB. A gymnast and volleyball player growing up, it wasn't until her mid-30s that she discovered the joy and challenge of setting and achieving running goals. Carolyn's main love is road running but middle-distance track events help to preserve as much speed and power as possible as she moves through the masters age categories. Carolyn will be attempting to break 3:20 at the Chicago Marathon in October 2024.

  • Dala: Bortolussi is a 55-year-old sprinter-turned-thrower who lives in Brossard, QC, on the South Shore of Montreal.  Dala currently holds provincial records in sprints, throws pentathlon, weight throw, hammer, and 4x100m relays.  Dala joined masters athletics at age 47 and credits the sport for giving her the confidence to try new things both on and off the track even - and especially - when they’re completely out of her comfort zone. Dala will be competing at the World Masters Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden in August 2024.

Training and Recovery Insights

  • All emphasize the importance of injury prevention, recovery, and maintaining physical activity through diverse training methods including strength training, plyometrics, isometrics and pool workouts.

  • Highlight the value of sleep, and nutrition, and assemble a support team of coaches, physiotherapists, and other professionals to sustain high performance.

Community and Social Aspects

  • Discuss the significance of the community in masters athletics, sharing experiences of camaraderie and support among athletes of all ages.

  • Encourage participation by highlighting the welcoming nature of the masters athletics community and the opportunities it presents for social interaction and mutual encouragement.

Key Messages and Takeaways

  • Passion for Sport: Encourages finding and pursuing one's passion in sports, regardless of age, and stepping out of one's comfort zone.

  • Lifelong Activity: Emphasizes the importance of consistent physical activity and setting personal goals to improve over time.

  • Community Engagement: Underlines the role of community in sustaining motivation and enjoyment in sports.

Call to Action

This episode of The Athlete's Podcast inspires by showcasing the dedication, diversity, and community spirit in masters athletics, encouraging listeners of all ages to engage in physical activity and pursue their athletic passions.

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