Thanks to Walt Murphy's reminder, today is the 54 anniversary of Billy Mills' victory in Tokyo. Who of us will ever forget?
Tokyo 1964 Billy Mills
A few days ago I stumbled on this article in the New York Times by a guest writer Robert W. Goldfarb. He is 88 years old and described as a 'competitive' runner. He talks about attitude with aging and the view of the inevitable. Since the overwhelming number of our readers are approaching or have already arrived at that state, I thought this piece might offer all of us an introspective moment. We are indeed fortunate that our sport affords us the opportunity to remain competitive as long as we can shuffle down the road, trail, or treadmill. We can be competitive with or without stepping to the line with 5000 younger runners. It's just us and the front door and the weather outside and a clock that never stops ticking. In tennis you have to search out someone as slow as you to play. In team sports we run out of options relatively quickly or have to greatly modify the game ie. slow pitch softball. We do have a few old polevaulters and throwers in our entourage, and they for the most part are still actively practicing their craft.
I checked Mr. Goldfarb's credentials as a runner on the website athlinks.com and confirmed his competitiveness in recent years.
In 2006 at the age of 76 Mr. Goldfarb ran a 5Km in 34.:21, a pace of 11:04 per mile, and on October 8, 2016 he ran a half marathon at age 86 in 2 hr. 58 min. or 13:38 per mile. I think this qualifies him as a competitive runner. P.S. Thanks to Richard Mach for correcting me on his 5km pace
Words of wisdom below from a 90+ year old friend (Richard Trace) who introduced me to road running about 1960 when I was a hot shot high school miler. It was a brutal lesson.
Richard Trace (for more on Richard clik on his name.
Here is Mr. Goldfarb's piece