Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.
“Just get out there and walk or run.”
Those were the words delivered by Gladys Burrill who at 92 years of age just completed her 5th marathon.
As impressive as that may be, what I find even more inspiring is that she didn’t run her first marathon until she was 86! I am also thrilled that these stories are becoming more common. I just read that Clarence Hartley will be running this week’s Boston Marathon at the tender age of 81! He qualified for this competitive race by running 26.2 miles in under four and a half hours.
These individuals are not just inspiring because of what they are accomplishing in their golden years, but because they can motivate those of us who still have lots of years ahead of us.
I see lots of older runners at the races I attend. About a month ago I met Betty. She told me the story of how she was late for her own 78th surprise birthday party because she saw a four mile race that she could not pass up. After speaking to her briefly she told me she didn’t start running until her 40’s and today she does it for exercise, but also as a way to stay current and social. She literally runs with a wild and competitive crowd that she reports “do not sit in rocking chairs and complain about their health.”
Betty’s 90-year-old friend is ruthless and keeps her on her toes helping her maintain a 9 minute mile. Betty is a great example of what a commitment to remaining healthy and fit can provide you both in the short and long term. In her 40’s she ran so that she could keep her body young, while today she runs so that she can keep her mind and spirit youthful. I have been joyfully committed to my healthy lifestyle for several years now and nothing keeps me more focused than having a 78-year-old woman pass me at a race without breaking a sweat.
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