Peter’s membership of APSOC has been in two distinct phases, 1950 to 1957 and from about 1980 to the present.
Peter joined Old Wesley Athletic Club while still at school in 1950 and ran second in the Orchard Handicap that year. This was his best placing until repeating the feat 45 years later (beaten by another Life Member). He never did much track running with Old Wesley, generally rowing in summer.
The highlight of the first phase of Peter’s running was the opportunity in 1956 to carry the Olympic Torch through the Melbourne CBD to the Town Hall, as the fourth last runner in the Relay. A number of APSOC runners ran in the Relay, probably as a result of our Association being involved in the relay trials to test the torch’s suitability. Peter claims that he happened to be in the right place at the right time. While being a reasonable runner in our competition, he considered that he had no real claim to such an important task on the basis of ability alone. He had enjoyed the competition and camaraderie of the Association, and served as Secretary (1954-56) in the time of the presidency of the charismatic Ken McPhail.
Peter retired in 1957 from running due to family and study commitments, in addition to an asthmatic condition which was then thought to be not compatible with distance running.
But in about 1978, Peter recommenced running in the Victorian Veterans competition and, with proper training, quickly realised he had the ability to be a much better runner than had previously been shown. On an age-graded basis his performances were far superior to earlier times, as in training he ran far greater distances than previously attempted. At age 53 years his best times were 37:40 for 10,000m and just over 18 minutes for 5,000m and he ran regularly up to the half marathon distance. Peter competed in seven World Veterans or Masters Championships (five overseas), with best performances placing him in the top third of the field.
In 2003 Peter broke through for his first (and only) APSOC win in the Churchill 6km Handicap, probably then the oldest person to win an Association event. Another unique achievement may have been to compete with his granddaughter in an APSOC event.
From 2000 to 2003 Peter served as Chief Official of the Association, followed by a number of years as Keeper of the Trophies. He still officiates as timekeeper, recorder and marshal as required, interspersed with competing at some of the easier courses, becoming the first competing APSOC athlete aged over 80.