We're all getting older (& slower?) but that opens up new opportunities to compete in Masters age group competitions....many of our athletes are also active at the Masters level and compete in Regional Vets and BMAF events at home and abroad.
Whilst we like to mix it with the youngsters and try our best to keep them honest it is sometimes nice to compete nearer the front and Masters age group competitions offer that opportunity.
Getting involved with Masters (or Veteran) Athletics is easy, simply by being over 35 and a member of WADAC you are eligible to take part in the Southern Vets League and a number of other club level Vets competitions including the Southern Masters XC championships and the BMAF Road Relays.
Moving further into the sport requires 2nd claim membership of one of the British Masters Athletic Federation (BMAF) Area Clubs. This is not hard-wired to your home address or your first claim club and in principle you can join any of the 12 Area Clubs. For most WADAC athletes it is however a simple choice of South West Vets (SWVAC) or Southern Counties Vets (SCVAC) because they're more local and it's easier to get to their regional events. Most of us are with SWVAC but if you are uncertain do speak to someone at the club.
Once you are into BMAF the possibilities are endless with National Competitions indoors, outdoors, cross-country, road running. Then European and World Championships are all possible - you can do as much as your appetite and time/travel budget will stand! Generally these Masters events are structured with 5 year age bands from age 35 so there is plenty opportunity to be competitive. Although the standard of performance at the top end is very high there is an inclusive ethos and a Corinthian spirit runs through the Masters - there will be others at and below your level.
There is a lot of fun to be had at the Masters level, if you are interested the best contacts are probably Steve Oliver or Charlie Hoskins for endurance and XC stuff and Kathryn Miles for track & field.