Health

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

The golden age of running

Comments (2)
By Peter Hadzipetros

For those of us who like to lace up a pair of over-priced running shoes and move one foot in front of the other a little more quickly than most people would like to, this is the best time of year.

Yeah, the hours of daylight are rapidly diminishing as summer fades to fall – and mornings are a little cooler. But it's marathon season – and all the big ones are coming up.

People who have been prepping for the distance are getting ready to scale back, to peak just in time for their goal races.

It's nice to see that race season means 78-year-old Ed Whitlock will be back challenging himself on the streets of Toronto. This week, organizers of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon announced Whitlock may be running the half marathon.

whitlock_04.jpg

Ed Whitlock

Whitlock's a guy I really look up to. He's got two things I've had to some extent in the past – speed and a full head of hair.

He's also the only person in the world over the age of 70 to run a marathon in under three hours. He's done that twice. The last time was five years ago. He may have lost a step or two since, but he's still very much at it.

Two years ago, he suffered a knee injury – his second since 2000. He took all last year off from the race circuit to give his body time to heal. He resumed training about a year ago but isn't quite back to marathon shape. He's had some setbacks this year, but – with a bit more rest – he's confident he's firmly on the road back.

Whitlock's sure his latest injuries aren't related to his age. He doesn't subscribe to the theory that the older you get, the more prone you are to injury and the longer it takes for you to recover.

A lot of researchers have said similar things.

"Age is no barrier," he says. "At least I like to think it's not. Time is always the best healer. Racing is what we do between injuries."

Whitlock's regular marathon training routine is a three-hour daily run at an easy pace. He's up to about an hour a day and is slowly adding to it. If all goes well, he expects to be fit enough for another crack at the marathon distance next fall when he's 79.

Still, he says he may have to limit himself to the five-kilometre race this year instead of the half marathon. He'll make that decision after he runs a 10-K race on Sept. 20.

If Whitlock does run the shorter distance, he'll be joining 98-year-old Fauja Singh – one of the oldest distance runners in the world. And the fastest. Six years ago in Toronto, he shattered the world record for fastest marathon by a runner over the age of 90: five hours, 40 minutes and four seconds. He took more than an hour off the previous record.

What about the rest of us – those of us who are mere mortals? Israeli researchers suggest it's never too late to reap the benefits of exercise. Even if you're well into your 80s.

Reporting in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers said that previously sedentary 85-year-olds who start exercising can double their three-year survival rate compared to their peers who'd rather watch the world go by.

For people like Whitlock and Singh, it's not about life extension. It's about extending what you do with your life.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments (2)

Amy

That is truely an inspiration. That even in our golden years we can still stay active. Another inspirational old age runner was buster martin. These guys can probably out run me.

Posted October 7, 2009 09:35 AM

Michelle

Regina

All I can say is WOW!! What an inspiration to anyone who runs. I've read about Mr. Whitlock before and he never ceases to amaze me.

Posted September 17, 2009 03:12 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Back of the Pack »

About the Author

Peter HadzipetrosPeter Hadzipetros is a producer for the Consumer and Health sites of CBC News Online. Until he got off the couch and got into long distance running a few years ago, he was a net importer of calories.

More from Peter Hadzipetros »

Recent Posts

The rewards and risks of extreme exercise
Peter Hadzipetros
Monday, October 19, 2009
The golden age of running
Peter Hadzipetros
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Late night calories could pack bigger punch for your paunch
Peter Hadzipetros
Friday, September 11, 2009
Exercise, not 'guardian angels' key to avoiding falls
Peter Hadzipetros
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
For the love of it
Peter Hadzipetros
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Subscribe to this blog

Recent Comments

That is truely an inspiration. That even in our golden ye...
The golden age of running
All I can say is WOW!! What an inspiration to anyone who...
The golden age of running

Archives

October 2009 (1)
September 2009 (2)
July 2009 (2)
May 2009 (2)
April 2009 (1)
March 2009 (1)
February 2009 (1)
January 2009 (1)
December 2008 (1)
September 2008 (1)
July 2008 (2)
June 2008 (2)
May 2008 (1)
April 2008 (2)
February 2008 (1)
January 2008 (2)
December 2007 (2)
November 2007 (4)
October 2007 (3)
September 2007 (3)
August 2007 (3)
July 2007 (4)
June 2007 (5)
May 2007 (3)
April 2007 (6)
March 2007 (3)
February 2007 (6)
January 2007 (7)
December 2006 (2)
November 2006 (3)
October 2006 (3)
September 2006 (4)
August 2006 (5)
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Trump says Russia should find Clinton's missing emails video
The Republican presidential nominee said that the 30,000 missing emails from Clinton's private email server would reveal "some beauties" and made an extraordinary plea for a foreign power to locate them.
New Why the TPP deal is prompting some Bernie Sanders supporters to be 'ridiculous' video
Many disgruntled U.S. Democratic Party supporters of Bernie Sanders say their opposition to the TPP deal has emerged as one of the significant reasons they refuse to automatically throw their support behind Hillary Clinton as the party's presidential candidate.
New ISIS releases video of alleged killers of French priest pledging allegiance video
Islamic State's news agency on Wednesday posted a video of two men it said were those who attacked a church in France in which they pledged allegiance to the group's leader.
more »

Canada »

CMHC says list of housing markets deemed overvalued is growing
Hamilton has joined Vancouver, Toronto, Saskatoon and Quebec City on Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.'s list of markets it considers to be strongly overvalued.
Inquiry into Judge Robin Camp to hear from advocates for sex assault victims
The Canadian Judicial Council has granted an "exceptional" request allowing feminist organizations and groups that help victims of sexual assault to make submissions at the inquiry into a judge who made controversial remarks during an Alberta sex assault trial.
New Best friend mourns First Nation teen found dead in north-central Alberta
If Melinda Yellowknee could say one more thing to her best friend, it's that she'd just want her to be happy. Her childhood friend, Cory Grey, was found dead on the Whitefish Lake First Nation earlier this week. RCMP are investigating.
more »

Politics »

New NDP says meetings between PMO and parliamentary budget officer were 'inappropriate'
The NDP has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to express concern about what the New Democrats describe as "inappropriate meetings" between members of the PMO and the parliamentary budget officer.
Updated Inuit-led suicide prevention strategy to focus on mental wellness, social equity video
Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the organization that represents Canada's 60,000 Inuit, has released its national suicide prevention strategy to address and reduce the high number of deaths by suicide among Inuit.
CBC IN PHILADELPHIA Clinton campaign learning from Sanders to boost youth vote
Bernie Sanders, a 74-year-old senator from Vermont, was hugely popular among young voters compared to Hillary Clinton during the primaries. But now that she's the Democratic nominee for president, what does she need to do to win them over? Listen and learn, her campaign says.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Appeal filed in Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven copyright case
Lawyers have appealed a jury decision that cleared Led Zeppelin of accusations it lifted a riff from an obscure 1960s instrumental for the intro to its classic rock anthem Stairway to Heaven.
Will Smith and Margot Robbie thank Toronto with Suicide Squad fan experience video
After taking over downtown Toronto to film Suicide Squad last year, two of the movie's supervillains returned Tuesday to thank us with a fan experience.
Netflix sets November debut for Gilmore Girls
The television revivals at Netflix that began in February with Fuller House continue as the streaming network announces the premiere date for another series reboot.
more »

Technology & Science »

Great Red Spot makes Jupiter hot, study suggests
Why is distant Jupiter as warm as Earth? The answer may be The Great Red Spot, an enormous storm big enough to swallow three Earths that has been raging on Jupiter for at least three centuries, a study showed on Wednesday.
New whale species discovered in Bering Sea
Scientists have made the rare discovery of a whale species, which lives in the Bering Sea between Japan and Alaska.
Microsoft Windows 10 free update period expires July 29
PC users still on the fence about upgrading their Windows operating system only have a couple of days to make the jump to Windows 10 for free.
more »

Money »

Facebook trumps Wall Street estimates on blistering ad sales growth
Facebook Inc's quarterly profit and revenue blew past Wall Street estimates as the company's hugely popular mobile app and a push into video attracted new advertisers and encouraged existing ones to spend more.
Federal Reserve leaves benchmark interest rate steady again
The Federal Reserve elected to keep its benchmark interest rate where it is on Wednesday, saying an improving U.S. economy is not quite healthy enough to remove stimulus at this time.
CMHC says list of housing markets deemed overvalued is growing
Hamilton has joined Vancouver, Toronto, Saskatoon and Quebec City on Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.'s list of markets it considers to be strongly overvalued.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Canadians remember Donovan Bailey's golden moment
On July 27, 1996, Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey powered past the finish line in world-record time at the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. It has been 20 years since Canadians exploded in cheers around their televisions to celebrate his golden moment, and the memories came flooding back Wednesday.
Player's Own Voice Cycling partners share friendship, fierce competition
After dabbling with retirement four years ago, Canadian cyclist Monique Sullivan is ready to leave her mark at the Rio Olympics. Only this time, new partner Kate O’Brien has Sullivan more motivated than at any other point in her career.
Steve Armitage to miss Olympics due to chronic heart problems
CBC Sports broadcaster Steve Armitage has stepped down from the network's Olympic broadcast team. Armitage, who was scheduled to provide commentary for swimming and diving, was recently diagnosed with chronic heart problems.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »