Fetherston isn't eligible to compete in
the Arizona Senior Olympics. Too young.
But the Kyrene Corridor resident,
businesswoman, marathoner and bicyclist
is piling up the hours and miles lately
as one of the organizers of the senior
fitness competition that draws elder
athletes from across the state to
qualify for the National Senior
Fetherston has been involved with
Arizona Senior Olympics since 1984, when
she came to Arizona from Brigham Young
University to pursue her master's
She interned with Arizona Senior
Olympics and produced a master's thesis
entitled, "Perceived Physical Self
Efficacy in Older Athletes."
"Basically, I did a lot of research on
how activity helps boost self-esteem,
personal interactions, and attitudes
about life" in senior citizens, she
Sports and promoting sports has become a
business as well as an avocation for
Fetherston. About ten years ago, she
formed Marathon Productions, a company
that puts on all kinds of sports-themed
One of her first productions was the
Madison (Wisconsin) Marathon in the
"I was still running in marathons at the
time so I was just kind of in marathon
mode, so that's how the name of my
company began," she said.
"Now what I do is contractual work with
various organizations," she said.
Halftime productions for NFL games. A
NASCAR concert series called the "NASCAR
Speed of Sound Tour." Non-baseball
events at Bank One Ballpark. Grand
openings. That sort of thing.
More recently, she has focused her work
closer to home.
She has served on the board of Arizona
Senior Olympics and is listed as the
organization's associate director.
"I do public relations, sponsorship,
games overview, community outreach. It's
a very small staff so everyone really
"I'm also the skiing commissioner. But
skiing we won't be having this year,
needless to say," the Colorado native
says with a wry smile.
The Arizona Senior Olympics runs through
Sunday, March 5.
The only event being staged in the
Kyrene Corridor is Saturday's power
lifting event at 1 p.m. at the Tempe
Family YMCA, 7070 S. Rural Road.
Participants compete in various age
groups, with the oldest registered
competitor being 80-year-old Carmine
Salvador of Phoenix.
Sixty-eight year old Sandra Palais is
the one of three women registered to
compete in the women's power lifting
competition, and is the only lifter from
"Power lifting is not one of our biggest
events, but it probably has more
spectators than a lot of our events,"
Fetherston said. "We take up the entire
gym at the ‘Y' and set up seats so they
bring the kids and the grandkids."
One of the Senior Olympics' most popular
events is a sport called "pickleball,"
which is being held this year in Sun
"It's really big out in the Sun Cities
area. It's played on a court. It's kind
of a cross between tennis, badminton and
table tennis, I guess. But it's smaller
than a tennis court. They use a paddle.
And it's kind of like a wiffleball. And
the net is lower."
"It's fast-moving, and you have to be
It will be a number of years before
Kerry Fetherston is old enough to
qualify for the Senior Olympics.
When that time comes, she probably will
enter the 10K race and cycling events,
Meanwhile, the Fetherston family is
planning a trip to Italy later this
spring with Tempe Councilwoman Pam
Goronkin's family to tour the Tuscany
On bicycles, of course.