This is what being a Masters Athlete is all about, the rivalry and friendship that can be built over the years of competition and that mutual respect for the hard work.
MASTERS athletes Norm Richards (80) and Barrie Kernaghan (78) have enjoyed a friendly rivalry for nearly 40 years.
Mr Richards, of Woodlands, and Karrinyup resident Mr Kernaghan competed at the recent Australian Masters Athletics Championships at the WA Athletics Stadium, achieving 12 medals between them.
“We have competed together all over the world in relay teams for Australia, winning various medals,” Mr Kernaghan said.
In their respective age categories, Mr Richards won three gold medals, four silver and one bronze at the championships across sprints, high jump, long jump and triple jump events, while Mr Kernaghan won gold in four sprint events.
The latter will head to Spain in September to defend the World Masters Athletics Championships titles he holds in the 100m and 200m sprints.
While Mr Richards has decided to skip the European trip because of distance, Mr Kernaghan said they both loved racing.
“We both enjoy the friendly atmosphere of masters athletics,” he said.
“As long as we are physically able to compete we will continue.”
He will be assisting with sprint coaching at North Beach Athletics Club this year, where he has been a life member since 1994.