Ticonderoga Walter Thorne continues to be one of the top masters runners in the world.
The Ticonderoga man claimed four gold medals and set two records while competing in the World Fire and Police Games in New York City last month.
Thorne, age 71, won the 400-meter run with a record time of 1 minute, 11.19 seconds — making him one of a handful of athletes in the world capable of running 400 meters to match their age of better (age 71, time 71.19 seconds).
“My goal every year is to run the 400 meters lower than my age of 71,” Thorne said. “This year was extremely difficult. I had surgery in March and was not able to start training until July. Then I suffered an ankle injury two weeks before the competition was to start on Aug. 27. I had to take 10 days off prior to competition.”
He also won the 200-meter sprint in 31.07 seconds, a record time, and ran legs on the winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.
The World Fire and Police Games are an Olympic-style competition held in odd years in different countries. This year’s games had over 15,000 athletes take part.
The 2011 event was held in New York City to mark the 10th anniversary of of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
Thorne, the Ticonderoga High School track and field coach, nearly missed the World Fire and Police Games because of Hurricane Irene.
“I was scheduled to leave for New York on Saturday by train but Hurricane Irene forced all trains to be canceled,” he said. “We rescheduled for Monday but were told on Monday that all trains were canceled until further notice. My wife and I decided that since I had spent to much time preparing for the games we would to drive to New York, which normally takes me about four hours . It took a total of seven hours because of road flooding and roads being washed away.”
The storm may have cost Thorne another medal. He arrived in New York City on Monday and missed the 100-meter dash, an event he has won in the past.