Barrie Kernaghan first found a love of beach sprinting as an 18-year-old, and his keen interest, mixed in with a strong drive to win and dedication to the sport, has kept Barrie lacing up his racing shoes for close to 60 years!
The spritely 77-year-old won gold in the 100m and 200m events at the World Masters Athletics Championships held in Perth last November, and his long history with athletics has seen him win countless medals at competitions held throughout the world.
Barrie was chosen as a torch bearer for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000, and was awarded the Australian Sports Medal by Queen Elizabeth in that same year. He also received the Professional Male Sprinter of the Year Award in 2015 and, according to Barrie, he still has many years of competition left in him!
“I certainly never thought I would still be competing at world level at this age, but it’s been a great way to keep active, travel the world and make plenty of friends along the way,” said Barrie.
“I enjoy sprinting the most as it is explosive, bursting out of the blocks, and I race as training so I compete in sprint events every Tuesday and Friday night.”
A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in 2011 came as a big shock but apart from adding daily medication to his healthy eating and regular exercise routine, the grandfather of four has taken it all in his stride.
“I haven’t let diabetes affect me one bit as I’ve made sure to keep a sensible diet and do plenty of exercise, and I would encourage others to do the same,” said Barrie.
Barrie will be taking part in the HBF Run for a Reason on Sunday, 28 May as an ambassador for Diabetes WA and will no doubt finish well in the 70 – 80 year old age bracket.
There is a distance to suit all ages and fitness levels, so join Barrie and support Diabetes WA in the HBF Run for a Reason by contacting the fundraising team on 1300 001 880 for assistance on registration and starting up your own fundraising page.