Katikati’s Sally Gibbs has broken the World Masters Athletics age-group record for the 10,000m at Newtown Park Stadium in Wellington.
Gibbs broke the record in the W55 59 years—subject to ratification—with her time of 36:46:96 in the Agency Group on November 9.
The 56-year-old Athletics Tauranga member takes the record off Germany’s Silke Schmidt set in 2015 in Ohrdruf, Germany.
A former 10,000m national champion, Gibbs holds numerous New Zealand agegroup records as well as world titles and New Zealand titles, but has never broken an age-group world record before.
“It’s very satisfying to go under the world age-group record time—thanks to a lot of training hours and support from others—especially as it has been one of my major goals,” Gibbs said.
She and several other runners requested NZ World Trail Running representative Tim Rabone pace them through to 36.40, at the November 9 event. The pack slowly dwindled away to just Gibbs.
Several times she looked like she was struggling to stay on Rabone’s heels before rallying and holding on.
With about eight laps to go the crowd soon realised the world age-group record was possible and came down onto the track to urge her on.
When asked what was in her mind when competing for a world record, Gibbs said, “knowing that a record is close, and possible, is great motivation to dig deepwhen fatigue sets in”.
The provisional world record also broke the New Zealand record of 37:22:37, likewise set at Newtown Park.