Outside the lines: Raschker sets world record at Spain Park

She&8217;s back.

The phenomenon that is Philippa &8220;Phil&8221;

Raschker has returned to her best, if not better.

Nearly three months after turning 60, Raschker topped the heptathlon world record in her age group by more than 1,000 points at the National Masters Decathlon and Heptathlon this past weekend at Spain Park High School.

As professional athletes of all ages converged upon Shelby County and displayed exceptional ability through the weekend, Raschker&8217;s 6,865 points in the heptathlon exceeds all other performances.

She returned following a year&8217;s hiatus from outdoor events Saturday morning by leaping her way through the headwind to an 80-meter world record of 13.50 seconds. As if that were not enough, she went on to snatch the high-jump record with a jump of 1.44 meters to top the three-year-old record of 1.41 meters set by Belgium&8217;s Edith Graft.

Raschker’s performance is amazing, not because her 6,865 points is more than any other woman has achieved at any age in a master&8217;s heptathlon, nor because of her age, but because of her comeback from nearly 10-years worth of injuries.

After retiring for a year and just sitting around &8220;becoming a couch potato&8221; she couldn&8217;t take it any more and jumped back into the game in 1999. However since her return, she has not completed a season without injury.

But now, close to 10 years since she tore onto the scene in South Africa to set numerous world records and win 10 Gold Medals at the World Championships, Raschker is quite possibly at the best of her game.

&8220;I haven&8217;t felt this good in probably 11 years,&8221; said Raschker, who cooled down between events Saturday by mentoring young athletes and laughing with friends.

She hopes to take her fun-loving game to golden finishes this September at the World Championship in Italy.

&8220;I&8217;ve got this heptathlon out of the way with the record, so in Italy I can just focus on winning,&8221; she said.

The secret to the German-born, Georgia accountant&8217;s success may simply be in her mental approach.

&8220;Once you&8217;ve accomplished your goal, you want to reach for a new goal. Once I&8217;m done, it&8217;s in the past,&8221; she said. &8220;I&8217;m ecstatic right now. This record is such a confidence booster because this was the first big meet in two years that I have done.&8221;