SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Saskatchewan celebrates the many athletes who have risen in excellence. We are proud of Carol LaFayette-Boyd who represents Canada in the World Masters Sports & Athletics. In 2007 in Regina she broke the world record in the 200 meter at 29.82 sec. (record was 30.26) In Italy at the World competition, she ran in 29.66 to beat the new record holder.
The LaFayettes were homesteaders who moved to Saskatchewan from Iowa in 1906. Born in 1942, Carol was the sixth of eight children born on the farm near Rosetown who loved running in high school sports and high jumping the old scissor method. You didn’t need to train in those days just come out, stretch and compete. Life went on but in 1991 Carol heard that the Canadian Masters Games were going to be in Regina and decided to try out. She had kept up with stretching (while watching Christian programming) after seeing the 100 plus year old Delaney sisters on a morning show but that winter started weight training. In spring she went to the track and did sprint training.
In 1992, at the Canadian Masters championships the track events began on a rainy day. Carol had never run the 200m but decided “if I can pass them on the curve, I can beat them. I did but hit a dead space where I couldn’t move. Then I heard my sister in law screaming and kept on to beat the others. In 32.72 sec.” The next day when she ran the 100m race, she was in pain, her feet were swollen and there were puddles on the track. There were only two competitors in that race and Carol could feel someone on her elbow but she stayed ahead, winning the race in 15.17 sec. “I thought I was done for life. Ankles were swollen and hard as rocks.”
But Carol is a pioneer who knows how to persevere. She had injured her back in the 80′s and was told by doctors she could not carry anything. Her sister Vera prayed for her and although the next morning her back was still painful, she believed that she was healed. As she stretched each day she built up her faith until she was pain free. Occasionally now when the symptoms return she wonders who she is interceding for as she knows other family members have back problems. The pain always leaves.
Carol attributes faith to her success in running. As a child of seven years, she remembers when Jimmy Fry, her brother’s friend was dragged by a horse down a coulee and up the other side twice. The family cried out to Jesus and he was fine except for a broken arm. When she saw that her faith grew immensely and has increased over many years of testing. It was tested later in 1986 when nephew Tony had a devastating spinal cord injury but Carol prayed until she had peace that he would rise again one day. In 1989, she had decided that nothing would be allowed to steal her joy.
In ’96 a younger competitor really pushed Carol, for which she is grateful as she got serious about training. She started working harder as she met competition that was older yet faster than her. “That just wasn’t right!” In 2001 Carol took up triple jump and the 400m for the World’s Senior Games in Utah. LaDonna Antoine was running the 400m in the Olympics and Carol modeled her stride and arms which improved her speed. At the World’s Senior Games in 2001, Carol won the 50m, 200m, and triple jump breaking the record by 2 feet. At the Edmonton World Games in 2005, there was stiff competition and Carol ran so hard she hurt her shoulders.
When getting ready for a meet, Carol always says she’ll do her best. Her heart is pounding and she quotes to herself “Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That is how she prepares herself as she goes to the race start. In 2007, Carol turned 65 went to Italy for the World’s Masters and said “I’m going for gold”. She says “It just came out of my mouth like that but when you say it out loud, you believe what you say”. She had just turned 65 when she went to Italy. She set Canadian records in the 200m and Long Jump. In the long jump she jumped 4.47m, further than ever before. When she got home, she cried for days after realizing that “God was telling me that you have to speak what you believe. It’s so important to. It didn’t matter about the gold but that I had said I’m going for gold and God heard it. Believe, speak the words and God honoured me. What an encouragement to pray because I know He hears.”
Carol has won the Bob Adams award and the Saskatchewan Sports Athletic award three times. She also won the Canadian Masters Female Athlete of the Year Award. The best part of an award is getting up and giving God the glory. Currently training with ExCel Athletika track club in Regina, Carol gets up early to pray and read the Bible. She reads the Elijah List while riding the bike, considering it as important to be spiritually fit as physically. Her diet is disciplined, following The Zone by Barry Sears. She trains at the track club for 2 hours, three times a week, weight training twice a week. Carol says that winning is nice but the best part is being fit. When she was 35 she had lots of aches and pains but now at 66 years she feels and sleeps better than thirty years ago.
In 2008, Carol is ranked first in the world in the 200m, second in the world in the 100m, long jump and triple jump. She admires Olga from Vancouver who is 89 years old, competes in the pentathlon and 10 other events and medals each time. Carol plans to compete until she’s 100. Go for it, Carol. Saskatchewan is behind you!