Terrace cyclist Trudy Rafuse faced the elements and 80 competitors to win her hard-earned gold medal at the BC Seniors Games, re-named the 55+ BC Games.
“It was pouring buckets in the morning [of the big road race],” said 61-year-old Rafuse, who competed in the 60-64 cycling category.
The road was wet and it rained intermittently throughout the race, she said, but the big challenge was the hills.
“There were some tough hills,” she said, adding that the race finished on a fairly steep hill with a 10 percent grade.
“I had to work hard to get my gold medal in that road race, especially near the end,” she said.
“I didn’t think I would place that well… I was thrilled.”
Rafuse also took home a silver medal in the time trial race, and was one of 17 Terrace seniors who came home with medals.
Maxine Smallwood won six medals in track and field events. She earned gold in shot put, weight pentathlon and javelin and silver in hammer throw, weight throw, and discus.
She says the downpour of rain on the Friday was tough to compete in.
“Trying to throw the discus when it’s pouring rain is not much fun,” she said.
She notes that the games did lack some organization compared to other years, with location changes a month before the games and lack of water at a 5,000-metre race on a hot day.
But overall she says the games were pretty good.
This was the first year at the games for 56-year-old Daryl Gurnsey, who competed with the Terrace five-pin bowling A-team.
He says the seniors were quite competitive and the camaraderie was great.
“There was a good group of competitors from all over the province. They were very pleasant and very nice and they play hard,” he said.
“I had a lot of fun and it was something worth doing again.”
Rafuse says that for many of the seniors who compete, the games are more about fun than medals.
“A lot of the people from up here just love going down there,” Rafuse said,
“It’s a great big social event for them. Win or lose, they say ‘ah, its okay, I just come for the fun of it!”
Seniors from the northwest zone, which includes Prince Rupert, Terrace and Kitimat, won 50 medals overall in the games.
From Terrace there were six gold, nine silver, and one bronze medalist.
Cecil (Bob) Goodvin won three silver medals in shot put, discus and javelin in the 90+ category.
Other winners were JeanPaul Bourgeon with gold in 65+ horseshoes, Marielle Mercure with silver in 55+ horseshoes, Jim Lynch with silver in 75-79 golf, and Ken Earl with bronze in 65-69 Pentathlon.
One Terrace five-pin bowling team won gold in 55+ category. The team included Brian Turner, Ken Rutsatz, Helena Duhan, Gabriele Prevost and Tim Taron.