When Emma McGowan isn't behind the wheel, driving a GCPS bus for students with special needs, she's on the track training or competing. Ms. McGowan ran away with the gold in both the 100-meter and 200-meter races in her age bracket at the World Masters Track & Field Championships held in Perth, Australia, during the fall.
The mother of twins, Ms. McGowan says training and her job go hand-in-hand. “I love driving the bus because after I drop off the kids in the morning, I can train for several hours before I have to begin my afternoon route. But the best part of my job is that I get to take my daughter to school,” she says. “My daughter is autistic and I love being able to take her to school and pick her up. That way I know she and the other students are in great hands.”
The World Masters Track and Field Championships are the biennial championships for masters athletics events held under the auspices of World Masters Athletics. Athletes who compete in the World Masters Athletic events must be at least 35 years old. Ms. McGowan says she loves to compete. “It is awesome! It takes a lot of hard work especially for me. I am 48 years old with two children so it is not easy, but I love it. I practice three times a week at an outdoor track and once or twice in a gym,” McGowan said.
The fleet-footed driver is now a two-time gold medal winner in the 100 meters. In 2015 she won gold in the World Masters Athletics Championship in her native France while also taking home silver in the 200 meters and 400 meters.
“I am so thankful to have a great job and a great coach who helps me stay focused and prepared. It was also great winning the 200 meters, as I barely lost in 2015,” McGowan said.
Photos by Rob Jerome.