Mike Wiggins wins gold medal in racewalk event

by Steve Peterson

The Akron Hometowner of Akron, Iowa

Michael Wiggins, president of Peoples Bank of Hawarden, recently competed in the Master's Track and Field championships in Helsinki, Finland.

Wiggins came home with a gold medal. He teamed with Rich Carlson of Colorado and Norm Freble of Utah and they won the gold in the 10K.

"This was my first time in the Masters. They have age categories from age 35 up every five years (age groups)," said Wiggins, who was in the 60-65 age group.

Wiggins had a couple of unknowns to conquer, his first 20K racewalk, jet lag, and recovering from an injury. He rehabbed at Hawarden Community Hospital.

"Norm told me if I came, he wanted me on his team," Wiggins said. Wiggins' training, though, was limited by the injury. The highlight was the gold in the 10K, followed by the silver in the 20K.

"It was great to hear our National Anthem in a foreign country. Most of the crowd was friends and family of the competitors and locals," said Wiggins, who returned last week.

"It is the camaraderie," he added. "Someone approached me at the end who could barely speak English, and said, 'nice job.' He was from Iran."

Weather was nice for race-walking, from the low 50s to the 80s.

In race walking, technique and speed are both important, and one has to be watchful of the judges.

Wiggins thanks Jack Bray of Wisconsin, who is racewalking at age 75, for giving him some pointers.

Wiggins, who is nationally recognized as a leader in race-walking, hopes to return to competition at a race in Sacramento, CA. Until then, he will be training in and around Hawarden, at the West Sioux High track, and on trails.

Copyright 2009 The Akron Hometowner, Akron, Iowa. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Read Full Article at Akron Hometowner&pid=233&catid=10&catname=Accomplishment