Evergreen and incomparable . . . our chat with Masters marvel, Fiona Matheson

Wednesday 17th May 2023

Fiona Matheson at the Scottish 5K Champs with our President, Ron Morrison, and complete with pineapple (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Pilates. Retirement. Running after young grandchildren. Just three of the reasons why the evergreen Fiona Matheson is once again in Record-breaking form.

We’re highly fortunate in athletics in Scotland at the moment to have a number of Masters athletes who are world class.

The Falkirk Victoria Harriers is exactly that in the W60 category and her recent achievements include what is believed to be a World best at 5k in the Scottish 5K Champs at Silverknowes – gun time 18:22 – and a 38:08 run at the Scottish 10k Champs at Glasgow Green that is a UK Record in the age group.

Fiona’s husband was a bronze medallist in the M60 category that day, too, and Grant taking a Level Two coaching course is another factor as Fiona places more of an emphasis on strength and conditioning than previously.

For those who are not aware, the mother-of-five has emerged on the global Masters scene over the past 10 years or so after initially being drawn into the sport via jogscotland in her 40s.

And now it seems a pilates class and more exercise routines are paying off for the 62-year-old, who is an inspiration to so many (as highlighted recently by Scottish Marathon Champion W40 Sara Green of Gala Harriers).

‘My training is going well,’ said Fiona, with marvellous, modest under-statement.

‘I had a few injuries from November last year. As I mature in years, I am putting more of an emphasis on some strength exercises and conditioning work.

‘But the only thing I have really changed in my training week is I’ve added in a pilates class. I think that is helping.

‘I’ve cut the number of days running down now – I am at four or five a week and effectively I’ve substituted in a pilates class rather than another run. It seems to be working!

Fiona in action at Silverknowes en route to a World Best at 5k for W60 (photo by Bobby Gavin)

‘My husband Grant is taking a coaching course at Level Two, so we are learning all the time. We have a wee group on a Tuesday and Thursday and do a lot of strengthening exercises there, too.

‘We’ve grandchildren to look after and I have finished in the NHS now. I retired in March time and now I don’t know how I fitted in the work. Life is busy but I love and it and my family are very supportive of our running.

‘We will be encouraging our children and our grandchildren into the sport and one day I would love to see my grand-kids at events like a road champs or at the track.’

Fiona then explained that it was third time lucky for her British Record over 10k.

‘I’ve had a couple of attempts at the W60 British Record so I am thrilled to get that with a gun time of 38:08,’ she said after the Shettleston Babcock race.

‘I did one in Wilmslow (near Manchester) last year and I had a chip time of 38:19. But my gun time was 38:39 and the UK Record was at 38:30 – but they would only take the gun time for those Records. So that was very frustrating – but it made me more determined.

‘On Sunday at the Scottish 10K Champs I had goals A, B and C in terms of my time so I am delighted I hit my ‘A’ goal if you like.

‘I believe the 5k run at Silverknowes is a World best and I am hoping some paperwork might go through for that. I know it was a UK Record and I’m always delighted with that.’

Tags: Falkirk Victoria Harriers, Fiona Matheson, Scottish 10K Champs, Scottish 5k Champs

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