Anne Gilshinan continued her winning ways this month when she travelled to Tampere, Finland for the World Masters Athletics Championships. Her first gold medal came in the W55 800 metres, her time 2.21.16 minutes. The multiple world record holder ran the same time at the European Masters Indoor Championships in Braga last February on her way to winning three middle distance gold medals.
Anne followed up by winning the 1500m, her winning time 4.44.55 minutes, a pb. Her previous best of 4.46, being 8 seconds faster than anyone else in the race, meant that she was the bookies’ favourite from the off.
The Cavan-born athlete, now living in Bridgetown, is something of a poster girl for Irish master athletics given her success on the European and world stages. In 2019, she was European and world women’s master middle distance athlete of the year.
Master athletics, governed by World Masters Athletics, is currently thriving, its numbers boosted both by those transitioning from senior ranks, and those coming late to the sport. Life for master athletes starts at 35. The age categories run in blocks of five years, the first being 35-39 and continuing right up to 100+.
Anne, a very talented juvenile runner, turned her back on the world of competitive athletics for many years. Her return to the sport she loves is living proof of the indomitable and irrepressible nature of the human spirit.