Francis is still going strong at 60 plus

All set for Saturday's championships are, from left, Harriers Alan Coltman, club captain Craig Grieve, Francis Cannon, Colin Nichol, Alan Inglis and Barry Spence
All set for Saturday's championships are, from left, Harriers Alan Coltman, club captain Craig Grieve, Francis Cannon, Colin Nichol, Alan Inglis and Barry Spence

Veteran Hawick athlete Francis Cannon earned his sixth Great Britain vest at last month’s World Masters Athletics Championships in Lyon, France, writes John Slorance.

The 67-year-old hit the track in two events, the 400m and 800m, and although not among the medals, Francis was content with his running.

“I was seventh in my heat in the 800 metres in the 65-69 years age group and I also ran in the 400 metres and came fifth in my heat,” he said.

“I might not have got near winning any of the races, but I was quite happy with my running as I was competing against really good runners from all over the world.”

Teviotdale Harrier Cannon has came a long way since taking up athletics 50 years ago.

“When I joined the Harriers in 1965 it was all cross-country running and I never thought for a minute that in years to come I’d be running for Great Britain in track events worldwide.”

Cannon has been a real globetrotting competitor over the years, and he continued: “The first time I ran in the [World] Masters was at Gateshead. Since then I’ve done a good bit of travelling to Italy, Denmark, America, Brazil and France, which is not bad going for a wee guy from Hawick I suppose.

“I’ve had some great experiences and also made friends with athletes I’ve met over the years. It’s been a great honour to compete in the GB vest and I feel very privileged.”

Francis is also a regular on the games circuit and a member of the Alex Corbett school.