76-year-old Regina track athlete just hitting her stride after two new world records

Carol Lafayette-Boyd is racing to new heights.

The Regina track and field athlete is winning multiple gold medals and setting world records while also making great friends along the way.

Not bad for someone who didn't take up the sport until she was 50 years old.

"I don't think a lot of older folk know we can do track and field," Lafayette-Boyd told Garth Materie on CBC Saskatchewan's Afternoon Edition.

Lafayette-Boyd, who is now 76, just returned from the World Masters Athletic Outdoor Championships in Malaga, Spain, where she won five gold medals and broke two world records.

Lafayette-Boyd competed in the 100-metres, 200-metres, high jump, long jump and triple jump in the 75- to 100-year-old category.

In the 200-metre semi-finals she won in a world record time of 31.86 seconds. In the final she bettered that mark with a time of 31.56 seconds.

She also set a world record in the high jump with a leap of 1.24 metres.

"I had to go from 1.17 metres to 1.24 metres and I had to do it on my third jump," Lafayette-Boyd said.

It is a lot of fun and you meet a lot of people. - Carol Lafayette-Boyd

Lafayette-Boyd decided to share her gold bounty by giving medals to a pair of coaches and the massage therapist that went with them to the games.

"If it weren't for them maybe I wouldn't be able to do this."

It's not the first time Lafayette-Boyd has set world marks. Last year at at a provincial meet she set world records in five events.

Stepping on the track for the first time

After spending most of her adult life staying fit by going to gyms and riding her bike, Lafayette-Boyd found out about masters competition when The Canadian Masters Games came to Regina when she was 50.


She decided to try it and was hooked.

"It is a lot of fun and you meet a lot of people," she said, adding,. "Especially when you go to meets throughout Canada or throughout the world."

Lafayette-Boyd says participating in track and field has proven beneficial in other aspects of her life. It has her eating healthier and sleeping properly.

"It's a good way to stay healthy."

Getting more people involved

At the masters event in Spain there were 18 women in Lafayette-Boyd's sprints category and another seven or eight competitors in the jumps.

Her oldest competitor was 88.

"Once you get older and compete in the 70-plus age groups you don't have as many competitors," she said.

Lafayette-Boyd wants people to know they can compete in track and field at an older age and also to see some of those athletes get more recognition for their efforts.

"There are several athletes in Canada in masters (category) who are world class and we don't hear about them."

At this point in her life Lafayette-Boyd said she is going to scale back on the number of competitions and events she competes in. Her next big event will be the Canadian Masters Athletics Indoor Track & Field Championships this coming March in Edmonton.

"I think I'm finished with travelling outside of North America," she said. "My goal is to stay in North America and I think it is time to focus on my family and [her hobby] genealogy."