Competing in the sprinting component of track and field, she reached the finals, placing fourth in the 200-metre sprint and sixth in the 100-metre run.
“I have received over 30 medals over the last six years in my age group,” she said, which is women aged 60 - 65.
Her personal experience started with the 55+ games back in 2011 when they were held in the Valley.
“That got me hooked,” Murray laughs, “because none of us hurt.”
Winning five silver medals and full of convert’s enthusiasm, the Kingstec faculty member went on to compete in three provincial games.
Murray qualified for nationals, which were held in Cape Breton in 2012, Alberta in 2014 and Brampton, Ont. in 2016. Along the way she met fellow Masters level athletes from Nova Scotia, like Llew Chase and Alice Patrick, and two Cape Breton athletes, Georgie Gill and Colleen McEachern, who all inspired her.
“Some of them have won national records,” she noted of individual athletes who have become friends.
At the age of 63, she attributes her success to her coach, Shannon Read, “who encouraged me to enter the provincials in 2011 saying most women my age are injured.”
The two met in 2010 when Read was recreation director in Wolfville. A National Coaching Certification Program-qualified coach, she wanted to encourage more triathlon participants by starting a club.
Hoping to reduce her blood pressure, Murray saw the sport as a means to get healthier in a supportive atmosphere.
At the age of 58 she took part in her first Just for Fun Triathlon. She found the wide range of ages, abilities and the social atmosphere attractive.
Furthermore after six months with the club, her blood pressure, cholesterol, weight and resting pulse were all lower. She has adopted the three disciplines of the sport - swimming, biking and running. Running is where Murray acknowledges she is most comfortable. She looks back on her early teenage years when she ran hard in track and field. Biking was the new sport she added. Her preference is to take each aspect of triathlon separately.
Last year Murray hired Read as a trainer before she set out for nationals and worlds.
“She completely changed my swimming. I believe I would not have done as well without her knowledgeable workouts and scheduling of pre event training to peak during the competition.”
Murray is grateful that she has been able to have incredible experiences in training and participating in these events.
“In New Zealand I witnessed ex-Olympians and Commonwealth athletes and watched a 101-year-old woman complete a 100-metre race (needless to say she did not have much competition).”
Murray is currently on the board of the NS 55+ Games, which are going to be held Sept. 14-16 in Lunenburg County. She says the web site has a lot of information about the variety of events that one over 55 can participate in for “fun, fitness and friendship.”
Did you know?
Read, who is 57, is training for the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Multisport World Championship Festival in Penticton, B.C. this coming week. It runs until Aug. 27 and the massive 10-day celebration will see athletes from all over the world vying for four different multisport titles. They include: duathilon, long distance triathlon, aquathon and cross triathlon.
Read firmly believes that training is important as we get older, especially in terms of balance, strength and range of motion.
“I think it’s really exciting if you can manage the stiffness of aging,” she says.
Read thinks the multisport model helps. That’s why she is involved with the Blomidon Multisport Club locally.
Swimming and biking at Aylesford Lake works well for training, she noted, now that the road is paved. Lifeguards being on duty are another advantage, Read adds.