John Falconer is living proof it is never too late to set a record. In fact, in his case, the later the better.
When the Gore athlete completed the challenging Motatapu Miners Trail race this month, he entered the record books.
Crossing the finish line at the end of the mountainous, 15.7km race near Arrowtown, 90-year-old Mr Falconer became the oldest person to complete the running and walking event.
‘‘It just shows you that life still goes on when you’re 90,’’ Mr Falconer said.
‘‘Clearly, I was the oldest there.’’
Mr Falconer’s objective was to complete the 15.7km course.
He did so in just under four hours.
The race offered a good challenge, with plenty of rivers to cross and hills to climb.
‘‘The track was quite testing, it’s a considerable climb.
‘‘Coming down is harder on your legs than going up.’’
The Miners Trail follows a loop from Arrowtown, ascending Tobin’s Track up on to the Crown Terrace before entering Glencoe Station.
Mr Falconer’s body stood the test of the 927m of elevation across the course.
‘‘No issues, but I think the cramp in the legs got me.’’
At the finish line, Mr Falconer received a trophy and a medal for his efforts.
‘‘It was a real pleasure to receive the trophy.
‘‘Not many 90 year olds take on the challenge.’’
Once finished, his immediate goal was finding a chair so he could catch his breath and eat a sandwich.
It was Mr Falconer’s sixth Motatapu Miners Trail race.
‘‘I only started doing it because my daughter was going to do it one year,’’ he said.
Having achieved this milestone, Mr Falconer was unsure whether he would do it again.
‘‘I thought it would be my last time, but I’ll wait and see how the events of the year play out.’’