Submitted by Madonna Hanna.
Hat number 1: as an elite track and field athlete (400 meter Specialist), 27 year old Chambers is preparing for the U.S. Outdoor Championship with hopes of qualifying to compete in the World Athletic Championship, 2022. Both events are located at Hayward Field, Eugene Oregon: a track Chambers knows very well.
Hat number two; Chambers is coaching 68-year-old widow and retired fashion marketing teacher Madonna Hanna, preparing her to compete in the 2022 National Senior Games taking place May 10-23 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Nearly, 12,000 senior athletes will compete this year. Madonna is a 50 and 100-meter sprinter. Chambers will take a week off his own intensive training to accompany and coach Madonna as she tries to achieve her goal of earning a medal in Fort Lauderdale.
The backstory of this unlikely inter-generational duo is inspirational.
Before the age of 57, Madonna Hanna had absolutely no track and field experience, but she decided on a whim to take up sprinting. Her husband Steven, a retired teacher turned massage therapist coached Madonna to her first medals in the Washington State and then National Senior games.
Before passing away from cancer in 2018, Steven told Madonna to keep running! After Steven’s passing, Marcus Chambers stepped in to coach Madonna as a favor to another elite Tacoma track star, and mutual friend, Martha Mendenhall (high jumper, multiple USA Track and Field Masters Champion.)
This one time favor turned into to a three year long coaching stint resulting in four Washington Senior Games medals for Madonna and a new appreciation for the sheer joy of competition for Marcus. Madonna is the January 2020 National Senior Games Association Athlete of the month. Both, she and Marcus were featured together on the June 2020 cover of Toastmasters Magazine and their collaboration has included interviews on National Public Radio, iheart radio as well as a series of fitness and health podcasts. Coach Chambers says, “Madonna is ready to capture her first individual National Medal in Fort Lauderdale!”