Lavinia Petrie OAM, our 74 year old, world record breaker and winner of the Mandalay Resources Gold Prize at the 2017 O’Keefe Challenge, is now enroute to England to represent us and Australia in this year’s Wenlock Olympian Games.
The Wenlock Olympian Games is an annual event held in the town of Much Wenlock, in Shropshire, England – the birthplace of Dr William Penny Brookes - who is credited with being the founder of the modern Olympic Games.
Since reaching her seventies, Lavinia has broken a series of world records for her age group in a number of distances, including the half marathon. She has held numerous titles including Australian Distance Runner of the Year, Runner-up in the Female World Distance Athlete of the Year, IAAF Female Masters Athlete of the Year and the Victorian Masters Athlete of the Year Award. To top this off, Lavinia has recently received an Order of Australia medal for her services to Australia.
It will be a family affair for Lavinia, who will travel with her son Rob, 48, who is following in his mum’s footsteps after recently taking up running. He will also compete at the Wenlock Olympian Games in the seven-mile road race.
Lavinia said: “I’m really excited about the trip. Both Rob and I are looking forward to experiencing the Wenlock Olympian Games and meeting up with all of the locals. I’m always trying to improve and still don’t think I’ve reached my full potential yet. I am hoping to emulate my record-breaking 2014 performances as I soon move up into the 75-79 age group… that is as long as the body holds up!”
Wenlock Olympian Society Media Secretary Mac Bardsley said: “Lavinia travelling from Australia embodies the Wenlock Olympian Society ethos. The message it sends out is that the Games are for everyone, no matter the age. We can’t wait to welcome Lavinia to Much Wenlock.”
The big question is, will she break any records?
“Lavinia is a remarkable woman - which Much Wenlock is about to find out.” said Sandra Slatter, Event Director, O’Keefe Challenge. All of her friends from ‘down under’ will be running with her in spirit on July 15.