Tom Anderson, at the age of 53 second place winner in the Toowoomba marathon recently.
Tom Anderson, at the age of 53 second place winner in the Toowoomba marathon recently.

Tom’s marathon effort pays off

Is it any big deal to come second in a marathon?

Well, yes if you’re 53-years-old and competing against runners up to three decades your junior – and that is just what Tyagarah local Tom Anderson did at a recent marathon event in Toowoomba.

And his ‘win’ is all the more surprising given that it is his first marathon in eight years.

Prior to that, he had done many marathons, in London and his native Belfast, but since coming to Australia seven years ago, building a house and being part of raising a young family meant there was no time for the luxury of running.

“Life gets in the way,” he explained.

These days Tom drops the kids at school and then hits the track, fitting in about 45 minutes per session, five days a week rain, hail or shine.

“I train with others so it’s a social thing as well,” he said, adding with a laugh that “we’re all mad.”

But he likes the idea of doing what it takes to be fit and healthy, of providing a good role model for his kids.

“Sometimes it would be all too easy to say, oh I won’t bother today,” he said.

For the Toowoomba marathon he put in 10 weeks training, and owned to being “quite pleased” with both his time and the second-place win, only nine minutes behind the winner.

“Not bad for an old boy,” he joked.

But he’s well and truly got the bug again now, spurred on by his recent success, and the sights are definitely on Toowoomba as well as the Brisbane marathon next year.

And there’s no resting on his laurels for Tom – already he is back in full training, pounding the track every morning and sometimes every evening as well.

“It you put in the training, it definitely makes it a lot easier,” he said.

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