FORMER Houghton Harrier Lavinia Petrie, at the age of 71, has won the IAAF Female Master Athlete of the Year through her world record distance running performances during 2014.
She was presented with her award, along with the world’s top athletes, at a glittering presentation at a Gala Dinner in Monaco last week.
Petrie, who emigratated to Australia in 1966, along with her husband Bob, a former Sunderland Harrier, received her award from Prince Albert of Monaco.
Since turning 70, she has been on a record-breaking spree, setting multiple world records in her age group across middle and long distances.
Petrie set world W70 records over 3000m and 10000m on the same day. During the same competition, she broke the W70 world best in the half marathon. Two months later, she took a 46-seconds off her own W70 10,000m world best.
She holds a total of eight world records or world best performances across the W50 to W70 age groups. She is a qualified coach and official and was one of the original members of Masters Athletics in Australia.
Her husband Bob, a keen distance runner with Sunderland Harriers, passed away in 2000. Daughters June and Julie followed in their parents footsteps and are successful athletes in their own right.
Petrie became Australian Cross Country champion in 1973. A pioneer of women’s distance running in Australia, she has a long history of setting records from 1500m to 100 kilometres over her 48 years of competition in Australia.
She was captain of the first Australian team to the World Cross Country Championships (1975) and after stepping up to ultramarathon distances of 50km, 50 miles and 100km in 1991, was in the first Australian team at the World 100km Road Championships (1993).
Her award winning world record performances in the 70-74 age group are: 3000m 13.07.79, 5000m 21.34.08, 10000m 44.43.27, Half Marathon 1hr.37.38, 1hr Track 13,044m.
Just before she set off for Monaco she broke her own 3000m world record with a remarkable time of 12:52.03. The Ringwood Athletics club runner from Kilsyth achieved an astonishing 102.73 per cent on the global age gradings table.
H Sunderland Strollers hold their annual Doorstep Marathon on Sunday in aid of the chemotherapy unit at Sunderland General Hospital. Runners from Sunderland Harriers and Sun City tri are also expected to take part.
The event is a two lap course that takes in Whitburn, Cleadon and South Shields. There is also an option of a half marathon. All proceeds of the entry fee are donated to the charity.
The event came about when Stroller Graeme Clazey was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Last year, the Strollers raised over £500 for the charity.
Entry fee for the half and full marathon is £20. The marathon starts at 9.00am while the half gets underway at 10.30am.
All runners are welcome to sign up to the event. The Marriott Hotel are providing post race refreshments.
The Strollers plan to be well represented in the Elswick Harriers Memorial five-mile road race on Saturday.
The course record is held by Morpeth’s Nick McCormick (23.48). The women’s record is held by the hosts clubs Justina Heslop (27.23).
Andy Powell, Steve Rankin, Tony Noble, Steve McMahon, Mick Laws and Mick Edwards, will all be bidding for personal bests on the quick course in Gosforth Park. The race starts at 2.00pm