A Chemainus couple hit their stride at the recent B.C. Seniors Games in Langley.
Tim Hendrie won gold in men’s 60-64 pole vault and pentathlon, along with a silver in high jump. He finished eighth in the 800m.
Hendrie downplayed his gold-medal performance, saying there aren’t many pole vaulters in their 60s.
“So to get a gold isn’t always an outstanding performance,” said the modest 63-year-old.
Hendrie cleared 1.6 metres to claim the gold, then put together the highest total from the 200m, 1500m, long jump, discus and javelin to win the pentathlon.
Nola Hendrie picked up a pair of silvers in women’s 55-59 long jump and pole vault. She finished fourth in the 100m and fifth in the 200m.
“The wind was blowing in our faces and constantly shifting, so it was a challenge to adjust our run-up but it was a lot of fun,” the 59-year-old said of her long jump experience.
Tim Hendrie said he wasn’t good at athletics when he was young but a friend got him started in track at the age of 56.
“It looked pretty exciting and it takes such an intense effort,” he said, adding his wife Nola saw him doing it and decided to join along. “She trains harder than I do. We’re retired so we’ve got plenty of time and it gives you something to work at, a reason to get outside or go to the gym.”
This was the seventh Seniors Games that Hendrie has competed in, and he says he “wouldn’t miss it” next year. It didn’t take him long to get started on training for next year, running 15 kilometres as he completed six laps of Chemainus Lake only days after returning from Langley.
Dan Hanson of Ladysmith was part of the Nanaimo Old Buoys team that struck gold in men’s over-70 hockey.
Stan Zeller of Ladysmith picked up a bronze in golf for men 70-74.
Ladysmith’s Rick Badall and Les Malinowski of Chemainus won bronze medals as part of the North Island Masters team in men’s 65-69 slo pitch.
Ladysmith’s Star Phelps took bronze as part of the Mid Island United team in men’s 60-64 slo pitch.
Margaret Fraser and Prue Wilson of Ladysmith helped the Mid Island Masters to a fourth-place finish in women’s over-55 dragon boat racing.
Morris Jenson of Chemainus won gold for his net score in men’s over-80 golf.
A total of 3,800 athletes over the age of 55 took part in the 2014 B.C. Seniors Games Sept. 9 to 13. The games also featured close to 1,200 volunteers.
“The best part of the games for me is to see all the people from last year. It is a very supportive environment, and it is great to see athletes from 55 to 90-something competing,” said Nola Hendrie.
“I guess the attitude we have is that we don’t do it for the medals. We do it for fun, and enjoy keeping fit all year long.”