Cyclist also on the run at Games
Millarville: Jack Whitlie wins a pair of medals on bike, and second in fun run
By: Bruce Campbell
| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013 09:58 am
A Millarville athlete found a silver lining to the dark cloud of an injury causing him to curtail his running.
Jack Whitlie won a silver medal in the 75-plus men’s 10km cycling event at the Alberta 55-plus Games on July 26 in Barrhead. He followed that with a bronze medal in the 20km race the next day.
They were both timed events with riders heading out on the course at different times, not as a pack.
“You aren’t riding with an individual right there,” Whitlie said. “In the 10km, I only beat the guy (Dick Foose) who was third by 14 seconds, which is pretty close for 10km.”
Whitlie admits he was outclassed by the gold-medal winner, John Daly from Sherwood Park, who finished the 10km route in 17:25, more than two minutes faster than Whitlie’s 19:51.
“He was off to Italy this week to compete in the World Games,” Whitlie said of Daly. “So he is a guy who has cycled all of his life, he was a good two minutes ahead of me… I was happy with my time. I wanted to go out and beat 20 minutes and I did.”
There was no rest for the weary, even if you have been eligible to collect the full Canadian Pension for more than a decade.
The 75-year-old Whitlie had to cover twice the distance the next day for the 75-plus 20km cycling event.
“The course was out and back and the 20km was a little hillier,” he said with a laugh. “You seem to have more taken out of you from the uphills than what you get back in the downhills.”
The racers once again went out in staggered times, and his main competitor for silver, Dick Foose went out just ahead of him.
“He went out about three minutes ahead of me and I thought we were about the same time apart at the turn (10k),” Whitlie said. “I thought I was right with him, but he beat me by 21 seconds.”
Whitlie’s bronze-medal time in the 20km race was 43:17, Foose was second at 42:51 and Daly took the gold in 37:23.
Whitlie has been riding a bike virtually all of his life.
However, he just started cycling a few years ago, when he finished fourth in the 65-plus division at the age of 73 in the 2011 Games.
His first love is running.
“My knees weren’t good enough to run so I decided to take up cycling,” he said. “It’s a much easier event on your knees because it is a different motion… I do miss running.”
It’s not as if his running days are totally ever. The Games has a five-kilometre fun run where all the athletes were invited on the July 28.
Whitlie was second in the 75-plus men’s division in the race.
“I didn’t run it fast, but I did run the whole course which was nice,” he said. His time was just over 32 minutes in the run.
Whitlie said he’s glad to be able cycle and run at the age of 75.
“I think exercise is important to any older person who wishes to be healthy in their life as they go on,” Whitlie said.
He has one other motivating factor.
“It keeps my weight down — I can eat more,” he said with a laugh.
Jack Whitlie goes out for a practice ride near his Millarville home on Heritage Day. Whitlie won a pair of cycling medal at the Alberta 55-plus Games on June 27-28.