6 October 2019
Despite a kangaroo and her joey jumping in front of him along the trail, Blue Mountains local David Riches was able stay focused and came away with gold in the Australian Masters Games trail run at the picturesque Cleland National Park.
The now 62-year-old has been competing since he was 50 and is an Australian record holder for masters athletics in the half marathon.
“You’ve got to train every day. You’ve got to love it every day. You have to enjoy the pain and the pressure,” David said.
“The best thing about running is it doesn’t matter if you come first or last. If you’re a high court judge or a garbage man, everyone’s the same – we’re all equal on the running field.”
David has a busy schedule ahead and is expected to do well competing in the 5000m, cross country and the street mile later in the week.
He traded places with his wife, Sandra, in the afternoon and became her cheer squad as she competed in the 3000m racewalk, where she took the bronze in the 55-59 age group.
Sandra took inspiration from David to get involved in athletics.
“My husband ran and trained all the time, and I watched him,” Sandra said.
“Finally, I decided I should do something too, so we can do something together.”
The two can now proudly show off their Australian Masters Game medals together.
We're heading west! The next Australian Masters Games will take place in Perth in 2021.
The TJ Seahawks have wiped the mixed category clean as they take out top honours at dragon boating.
Marion’s Fitness and Leisure centre was packed on the last day of the Australian Masters Games with many gymnasts putting their skills to the test.