ENDURANCE – Susan MacDonald recently competed in the Alberta 55+ Games running events

ENDURANCE – Susan MacDonald recently competed in the Alberta 55+ Games running events

Susan MacDonald scores big at Alberta 55+ Summer Games

An avid runner from Lacombe came home with five medals and some great memories after a big weekend at the Alberta 55+ Summer Games.

An avid runner from Lacombe came home with five medals and some great memories after a big weekend at the Alberta 55+ Summer Games.

Susan MacDonald, a passionate hobbyist runner and experienced marathon participant, came home with a lot to be proud of. She won three gold medals in various running categories – 1,500m, 3,000m and four-person relay – and two bronze medals in short distance running including the 100m and 200m.

“It was totally awesome! It’s competition but certainly the emphasis is on fun and participation,” MacDonald said.

“I’ve been running for about 12 years. I’ve gone into community races like the Woody’s RV Marathon, the Lacombe Half-Marathon and the Blackfalds fun run – I’ve done quite a bit around the province. I’d never gone into the 55+ Games so this year I looked into it, and found the long-distance running events that I like,” MacDonald said.

This was MacDonald’s premier year at the Games and she said she had a lot of fun. The Games include much more than athletic events – creative skill-based competitions also take place as well as a variety of celebratory events.

“It’s an opportunity to participate and to meet people from all over the province. You get to share experiences with them and I would hope that more people come to take part in the age 55-65 group. You don’t have to be 75 or 85 to take part. There are all kinds of things for younger seniors as well,” MacDonald said.

“There are quite a few different sports and athletics but there is also a variety of other activities. They have a lot of card games and there is a creative side for competition. People can be writing or painting and we’ve had people from the local area win those.”

Participants earn individual placement medals, but also earn points for their zone. Alberta is divided into eight zones for the Alberta Games, and MacDonald is a part of Zone 4. That area includes Rocky Mountain House, Red Deer, Lacombe, Wetaskiwin, Camrose, Stettler and Coronation, among other municipalities.

Zone four came in third out of eight with 35 gold medals, 30 silver and 30 bronzes.

This year the competition took place in Strathmore. MacDonald said the host city did an excellent job to ensure comfort of the guests and the entire experience of the Games was enhanced by the Town’s service.

“Strathmore is still a town, but I think they did a great job putting things together for the Games. They had about a thousand participants and about 800 volunteers. It was great! They put you up, they provide accommodation, they provide meals – they have everything organized for you. There was entertainment and a whole cultural thing – it was really a nice weekend of celebration. You’re participating but there’s so many other things going on, too.”

With her gold medals, MacDonald now qualifies to attend the next Canada 55+ Games.

“I’d do it again and I certainly encourage others to participate and take part. It’s every two years, so next year if I want to I think I have the opportunity to go to the Canadian 55+ Games. Last year, Alberta hosted them in Sherwood Park. I couldn’t go because I hadn’t been a participant in the provincial level yet. I’d like to maybe take that opportunity.”

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

Most Read