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Barbara Blurton kalamunda runner
As well as her hardcore training regime, avid runner Barbara Blurton enjoys weekly social runs at Woodbridge Riverside parkrun. Picture: CLAIRE OTTAVIANO

World record in her stride

By Claire Ottaviano

KALAMUNDA 70-year-old Barbara Blurton says age is no barrier after beating a 400m running world record.

Blurton topped the previous women’s 70-74 age category record of 73.97 seconds with a time of 72.76 seconds at a Masters Athletics Western Australia (MAWA) track meet this month.

“The women’s 70-74 record as it stood was set by a South African during the World Masters Athletics Championships in Perth in 2016,” she said.

“I turned 70 myself in March and had beat the record three-times when I was 69 so I was certain I could get the record on my birthday.

“A couple of days beforehand I injured my calf and on the day I was unable to run, then along came COVID and everything shut down.”

Blurton’s passion for running started age 40 after a competitive career in hockey.

An injury forced her to stop for the better part of ten years, only picking up the sport again three years ago.

“Bettering my own time and other people’s time I admit is part of the motivation,” she said.

“The other big part is trying to keep generally fit and healthy and then there’s the social side too.

“At MAWA a lot of people run just socially, a lot run to keep fit and healthy and a few are motivated by breaking records and winning medals.”

No matter the motivation, Blurton says the key to keeping active in your later years is listening to your body and keeping with a level that’s comfortable for you.

“I think you’ve got to be aware as you get older you need more rest,” she said.

“Some people come along who haven’t done this since school and they try to do everything at once and loose the incentive.

“We still have people who join the club in their 70s and 80s and others in their 90s who are still competing at world class level within their age group.”

For Blurton the fun never stops as she trains to shave time off the record and set new ones.

Her next goals include taking out the Australian 800m and 200m records and possibly the world 200m record.

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