Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vol 2 No. 35 Remarkable Boomers

Remarkable Boomers
I think we are not too far out of line to be talking about modern day Masters runners, because they were young adults in the 1950's and 60's and are still at it today.

This Monday April 2, 2012 the New York Times ran a feature on a Masters runner Kathy Martin, 62 years, who has set numerous WR’s for 1500 and 3000 meters and longer events. Kathy like many other top Masters runners started out late in life to be an athlete. I’ve always felt that the best Masters runners rarely competed at high levels when they were younger therefore having fewer injuries from youth carrying over and hindering performance later in life. However at the end of the three page article on Kathy there were several more runners and jumpers featured to a lesser extent, but some of these folks were not novices to track and field or other athletic competition. Example: Bob Lida 75 year old former Big 8 indoor 440 champ from the U. of Kansas (Do any of you old Jayhawks remember him?) I confirmed in the record book that Bob was indeed Big 8 champ in 49.5 seconds on the old board track in Kansas City. At the age of 75 he won the US Masters championships at 200 meters at Bloomington, IN last week in an incredible 27.5 seconds. He also won the 60 meters in 8.49 seconds.

Another former warrior Phil McConkey 55 years old, who was a kick returner and wide receiver for the New York Giants and played in the 1986 Super Bowl won the same two distances as Bob Lida, but in the younger age group of 55-59 his times were 7.79 seconds and 25.98 seconds.

Less of the former warrior category but still a remarkable athlete, Nolan Shaheed, 62 years, a jazz trumpeter by profession, a few years ago became the first 60 year old to break 5:00 minutes for the mile indoors in 4:57.06. He also set a WR for 1500 indoors at 4:35.07 in the 60-64 age group.

A truly outstanding performer on the women’s side is Jeanne Daprano 75 years, who has run under 7:00 minutes for the mile after she turned 70 in 6:47.91. In the 75-79 age group she has clocked WR’s for 400 meters (1:21.28) , 800 meters (3:18.48) and the Mile (7:13.51).

(Click on Photos to Enlarge Them)

Phil McConkey and Bob Lida

Paul and Brenda Babits and Nolan Shaheed

Paul Babits twice qualified for the US Olympic trials and now coaches at a vaulting school in Ft. Wayne, IN.  He's coached his formerly nonathletic wife Brenda to an 8' 6" vault at the age of 51.

Philippa Raschker Jeanne Daprano

Philippa at age 65 set the WR for pentathalon in the 65-69 age group and has won more than 70 gold medals at world masters championships in multiple events and was twice a finalist for the Sullivan Award.

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