My Return to the Blocks by Angela Kelly Giffnock North A.C.
After a number of years away from the track to have a family, it was always my aim to return to athletics so 1998 saw my return to training at the Sheepmount Stadium Carlisle with my main target the 13th World Masters Championship at Gateshead Stadium in 1999 competing on my birthday in the W40 age group. This was a big step up in competition for me after being away so long. I was however, relishing the new challenge in training and competing at the World Masters Championships. This would be the first time as Master W40 in a GB vest in the 100m & 200m. I enjoyed the experience, for me it was just about competing at the World Championships on home soil, enjoying the momentompeting against some fantastic athletes from around the world andmaking friends who are still great friends to this day. We have continued to meet up on other occasions during the last 23 years.
After competing at the Worlds, I turned my focus to competing at the Home Nations Indoor and Outdoor Championships in England, Scotland and Wales and also basically racing at any open meeting within a 2hr drive of my home in Carlisle just to get races.
In the spring of 1999 I met John Birkett through my daughter Claire. She was being coached by him in Annan with his group of 12 athletes. It was a few years later (2006) I asked him to take me into his training group. To cut it short, after we discussed my thoughts and the direction I wanted to go in and what level of competition, he said it will be tough, but the rewards will be enjoyable. The following week I joined the group and quickly got down to his training plans he laid out for me, so different to what I did before and he also, got me thinking differently about racing before and after, all new ideas to me but they have proved very vital over the years and has helped me to stay fit and keep racing at a high level to this very day aged 62 and hopefully into my next age group W65 in three years’ time.
Since joining up with John in 2006 training was hard, but strangely enjoyable back then, and today in 2022 it still is hard and enjoyable with a different twist to how we train which is why I love to race and challenge myself against the very best in the World, Europe and in the home nations. There have been highs and lows in my athletic journey as I recall, but all in all, it’s been mostly enjoyable and the rewards gained have been great, meeting different athletes and individuals from different countries over the years .
2023 will be no different with new targets set already to compete in the Scottish and British Masters indoor championships February and March, before heading out to Torun in Poland for the World Masters Indoor Championships which start 26th March to the 1st April. In September we will travel to Pescara in Italy for the European Masters Outdoor Championships, but before that we will be racing in the British, Scottish, Northern Ireland, Welsh, and Irish Masters championships before Italy, fingers crossed.
My major achievements over the years, competing in different 5 year age groups from 1999 to 2022 are below:
British Indoor Championship Individual Medals as follows.
2001 W40 Age group Cardiff 400m Silver Medal.
2006 W45 Age group Cardiff 200m Bronze Medal.
2008 W45 Age group Lee Valley Enfield 200m Bronze Medal.
2011 W50 Age group Lee Valley Enfield 200m Silver Medal.
2013 W50 Age group Lee Valley Enfield 60m Bronze Medal.
2016 W55 Age group Lee Valley Enfield 60m Bronze Medal also 200m Silver Medal.
British Outdoor Championship Individual Medals as follows.
2011 W50 Age group Alexandra Stadium Birmingham 100m Gold Medal also 200m Silver Medal.
2013 W50 Age group Alexandra Stadium Birmingham 100m Bronze Medal.
2016 W55 Age group Alexandra Stadium Birmingham 100m Gold Medal also 200m Silver Medal.
2017 W55 Age group Alexandra Stadium Birmingham 100m Bronze Medal.
2021 W60 Age group at Derby 100m Bronze Medal.
2022 W60 Age group at Derby 100m Bronze Medal.
Medals while competing for Great Britain Team Relays since 2006 to 2019 in World Masters Indoor Championships as follows.
2006 W45 GB Relay team in Linz Austria 4 x 200m Gold Medal.
2008 W45 GB Relay team in Claremont-Ferrand France 4 x 200m Silver Medal
2014 W50 GB Relay team in Budapest Hungary 4 x 200m Bronze Medal.
2017 W55 GB Relay team in Daegu South Korea 4 x 200m Bronze Medal.
2019 W55 GB Relay team in Torun Poland 4 x 200m Bronze Medal.
Medals while competing for Great Britain Team Relays since 2005 to 2019 in World Masters Outdoor Championships as follows.
2005 W45 GB Relay team in San Sabastian Spain 4 x 100m Bronze Medal.
2011 W50 GB Relay team in Sacramento California U.S.A. 4 X 100m Silver Medal.
2013 W50 GB Relay team in Porto Alegre Brazil 4 x 100m Silver Medal also 4 x 400m Bronze Medal.
2018 W55 GB Relay team in Malaga Spain 4 x 400m Bronze Medal.
Medals while competing for Great Britain Team Relays since 2003 to 2022 in European Masters Indoor Championships as follows.
2003 W40 GB Relay team in San Sabastain Spain 4 x 200m Gold Medal.
2007 W45 GB Relay team in Helsinki Finland 4 x 200m Gold Mrdal.
2011 W45 GB Relay team in Gent Belgium 4 x 200m Bronze Medal.
2016 W55 GB Relay team in Ancona Italy 4 x 200m Silver Medal.
2018 W55 GB Relay team in Madrid Spain 4 x 200m Bronze Medal.
2022 W60 GB Relay team in Braga Portugal 4 x 200m Gold Medal.
Medals while competing for Great Britain Team Relays since 2006 to 2019 in European Outdoor Championships as follows.
2006 W45 GB Relay team in Poznan Poland 4 x 100m Silver Medal also 4 x 400m Bronze Medal.
2008 W45 GB Relay team in Ljubjana Slovenia 4 x 100m Bronze Medal.
Individual Finals at World Outdoors and European Indoors as follows.
2013 World outdoors at Porto Alegre Brazil 200m Final in 7th Place overall.
2016 European Indoors at Ancona Italy 60m Final 8th place overall.
2022 European Indoors at Braga Portugal 60m Final 6th Place overall and 200m Final 6th Place overall.
Individual various Home Nation Medals at Indoors and outdoors from 2000 to 2022 and in various age groups.
Scottish Indoors 60m & 200m
Scottish Outdoors 100m & 200m
Welsh Outdoors 100m & 200m
Northern Ireland Masters 100m & 200m
Ireland Masters 100m & 200m.
We hope Angela found a trophy cabinet large enough to hold all these medals and achievements over this considerable span of years.
The club would like to take this opportunity of thanking both Angela and John for their outstanding contribution – both of them competing regularly at the CSSAL and always a presence at the Club Championships.
Masters athlete and coach – role models indeed.