Athletes brave cold weather for inaugural Moab Senior Games held Nov. 7-11
by Steve Kadel
staff writer
Nov 15, 2012 | 966 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tony Pryatel, 67, leads Jim Madonna, 74, after one lap of the 800 meters during the Moab Senior Games. The track events were held Saturday, Nov. 10, at Grand County High School. Photo by Steve Kadel
Tony Pryatel, 67, leads Jim Madonna, 74, after one lap of the 800 meters during the Moab Senior Games. The track events were held Saturday, Nov. 10, at Grand County High School. Photo by Steve Kadel
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Jim Madonna might have been the only athlete who found Saturday’s cold weather to his liking during the inaugural Moab Senior Games.

Madonna lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, where residents wear tolerance of frigid temperatures like a badge of honor. For the games in Moab, Madonna wore just a red, white and blue sleeveless T-shirt and shorts as he participated in track events Nov. 10.

Make that all the track events.

The 74-year-old lifetime member of Running Club North ran the 1,500-meter, 800-meter, 400-meter, 200-meter and 100-meter races, in that order and with little rest between. His reaction?

“I like the altitude here,” said Madonna, whose hometown is 400 feet above sea level while Moab is at 4,000 feet in elevation.

His iron man performance earned the appreciation of a sparse crowd, especially Madonna’s 7:07 time in the 1,500. He finished first in his age group in each event.

“My grandson was just amazed at him,” said Moab Senior Games organizer Suzan Martin. “He’s a tough old guy.”

Elsewhere around town, people participated in pickleball, tennis, golf, archery, basketball, bridge, horseshoes, swimming and volleyball. Dancing and a race walk/run also were on the agenda for the inaugural Moab Senior Games.

Nothing was canceled due to weather, which had turned windy and chilly by Friday.

“The golf people even played in the wind,” Martin said. “It’s too bad the weather turned foul on us, but I think things went incredibly well.

“Everybody had a lot of fun. I was really happy with it, and I’m sure it will be bigger next year.”

Age-group winners in each event won gold medals and, since it was the first time the event was held, each winner set a Moab Senior Games record.

While a second-annual event is anticipated, Martin said an inaugural summer version of the games also will be held in Moab.

“The summer games will be marketed more toward people here in Moab,” she said. “It will be a little more for those who are inactive, with card games and billiards. It won’t be so strenuous.”

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