At 45, Barry Patriquin is giving it all he's got.
Oxford's Patriquin medals at Nationals
OXFORD - At 45, Barry Patriquin is giving it all he's got.
The Oxford wheelchair racer, who has been part of the Canadian National Team since 2000, has been living in Mississauga, Ont. for the past two months and racing nearly non-stop.
In the last month and a half he's competed at the Dutch national meet in Holland, two invitational events in Switzerland, the "Meet in the Heat" invitational in Atlanta, the Canadian nationals in Windsor, Ont. as well as meets in Sarnia, Ottawa, and Sherbrooke, Que.
He's noticed a trend in his events this year.
"In terms of my placings overall, it shows me what I guess I've been noticing over the last couple years. I'm slowing down and it's getting tough for me to compete with the younger crowd," Patriquin said yesterday on his way to another meet in Ottawa. "Age is not on my side. I'm going to look at things at the end of the year and see if I can do this for another year."
The two-time paralympian has been thinking about calling it quits for a couple years now, and with it getting harder to place high, the decision to pack it in is getting easier.
But that doesn't mean his season so far has been all bad. He recently finished an 800-metre dash in one minute, 43 seconds, a time Patriquin thinks might have been his best ever.
He also placed well at the national championships, hitting the podium a couple of times.
Patriquin seems to be his biggest critic. After mentioning he won medals at nationals, he downplayed it, saying times weren't great across the board.
Patriquin is more serious now about retiring than he's ever been. He's got a couple races left this year, and if he doesn't make the standard needed to receive funding for another year, he'll probably call it a career in competitive racing.
"It puts other parts of your life on hold. I'd like to get on with life," he said. "I'm at that age where I need to look at a transition."