Award of HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP of Randburg Harriers: DEIRDRE LARKIN
Deirdre Larkin has been a member of Randburg Harriers for just a few years, joining up in 2010 at the age of 78 years. This is not surprising, because this amazing athlete only began her running career in 2009!
Deirdre’s road-running accomplishments in a short career spanning just four years have been nothing short of remarkable. South Africa’s most famous “galloping granny” was Mavis Hutchinson, but Deirdre is following in her footsteps – literally! These achievements have been making news in many places, and a picture of Deirdre in her Randburg Harriers running gear adorned the December 2012 cover of Modern Athlete. Deirdre’s story is well documented, from the Modern Athlete article to a recent interview with Brad Brown on RunTalkSA, all the way to an obscure but beautifully-written article by Leo Benning in the Hermanus-based Whalers Athletic Club newsletter of August 2012. Leo was overtaken and beaten to the finish line by Deirdre in the Two Oceans Half Marathon in 2012, which led him to track down and interview Deirdre for his club’s newsletter.
But Deirdre’s running achievements have reached stellar levels in 2013. Selected to represent Central Gauteng Athletics in the South African 10 km Championships in Durban in May 2013, Deirdre completed the course in a time of 54:17, breaking the South African 10 km record for women over 70 years, and smashing the world 10 km record for women over 80 years! Deirdre took over 2½ minutes off the existing record held by Melitta Czerwenka of Germany, who ran 56:53 in 2011.
Deirdre is – as far as we are aware – Randburg Harriers’ first and only world record holder!
Since joining Randburg Harriers, this quietly-spoken, unassuming lady has regularly responded to calls for assistance at our own events, and she has marshalled at several of our road races.
Deirdre Larkin embodies everything that is good about our sport, and about life itself, and Randburg Harriers is immensely proud to call her one of our own.
For representing our Club and our sport in a gracious yet spirited way, and for raising the profile of Randburg Harriers to new heights, we are privileged and proud to award DEIRDRE LARKIN Honorary Life Membership of Randburg Harriers.