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 »

U.K. files for EU divorce, triggering 2 years to Brexit video
Britain has formally triggered the process of leaving the European Union, Prime Minister Theresa May says, ending the country's 44-year relationship with the bloc.
Fear on the farm: In Vermont, migrant dairy workers and their bosses worry about Trump
Vermont's dairy industry depends on migrant labour to keep the milk flowing. Now, fears of a crackdown by the Trump administration on illegal immigrants has many farm workers living in fear, and farmers are worried they could lose a major part of their workforce.
Ivanka Trump to become official White House employee
Ivanka Trump is officially joining her father's administration as an unpaid employee, after her plans to serve in a more informal capacity were questioned by ethics experts.
more »

Canada »

GO PUBLIC 'I feel duped': Why bank employees with impressive but misleading titles could cost you big time
Mike Black says he feels "completely betrayed" after investing almost $1 million with the help of an RBC Dominion Securities “vice-president” who he later learned is only licensed as a salesperson.
'Take a step back': Wristbands supporting charged officer shouldn't be worn on duty, leaders say
Ottawa's police chief and the head of the Ottawa Police Services Board are urging caution about wristbands being worn by police in support of an officer charged with manslaughter in the 2016 death of Abdirahman Abdi.
Unhappy trails? Proposed Icefields Parkway bike path raises host of concerns, Parks documents show
It sounds like a no-brainer: a bike trail alongside a world-famous scenic highway through two of Canada's best-loved national parks, Jasper and Banff. But Parks Canada documents show the proposal comes with a host of complications, from damage to wildlife habitat to safety concerns and increased development pressure.
more »

Politics »

Kellie Leitch didn't know anti-Islamic group was part of Brampton event, campaign manager says
Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch would not have attended an activist meeting in Brampton, Ont., this week if she had known a group of anti-Islamic protesters were part of the event, her campaign manager says.
Top general says no systemic problems at Royal Military College after report on suicide, sexual misconduct
Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance said there are no systemic problems at Royal Military College of Canada as the military released a report today on suspected suicides and sexual misconduct at the college in Kingston, Ont.
Senator Murray Sinclair responds to Lynn Beyak's defence of residential schools video
Senator Murray Sinclair says preserving the record of the wrongdoing committed under the Indian residential school system is the best way to fight back against those who deny its negative impact on Indigenous people.
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»

No cellphones backstage for accountants after Oscars best picture flub
After their involvement in the biggest mistake in Oscar history, PwC accountants won't be allowed to have their cellphones backstage during future telecasts.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast reunites for 20th birthday
Buffy Summers and her old pals from Sunnydale High are reuniting to celebrate the 20th birthday of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
'It was a shock': Residential school survivor sees her painting more than 50 years later
Residential school survivor Gina Laing was recently reunited with a painting she created more than 50 years ago in an extracurricular residential school art class. Staff at the University of Victoria tracked down former students after a collection of art was donated by the family of art teacher Robert Aller.
more »

Technology & Science »

Samsung tries to win back customers with Galaxy S8 smartphone
​​Samsung Electronics unveiled its Galaxy S8 smartphone Wednesday as it battles to regain the market leadership it lost to Apple after the embarrassing withdrawal of the fire-prone Note 7s.
Opinion The argument for robot 'personhood'
It’s less about the damage we might do to robots, but the damage we might do with them — and where responsibility lies when things go wrong
Windows 10 update will bring 3-D, game tools and doodling
A major update to Microsoft's Windows 10 system will start reaching consumers and businesses on April 11, offering 3-D drawing tools, game-broadcasting capabilities and better ways to manage web browsing.
more »

Money »

Cenovus Energy buying most of ConocoPhillips' Canadian assets for $17.7B
Calgary-based Cenovus Energy says it will spend $17.7 billion to acquire most of the Canadian assets of ConocoPhillips, making the Houston-based company the latest international player to exit the oilsands.
Lululemon shares drop after weak outlook
Shares of Lululemon Athletica Inc. fell sharply in after-hours trading Wednesday after the athletic-inspired sportswear company delivered a weak outlook for the current quarter.
Etihad Airways responds to laptop ban with free iPad and Wi-Fi for 1st class
One Middle Eastern airline targeted by new U.S. rules banning computers on certain flights has responded by offering first and business class passengers complimentary use of a tablet computer with internet access while on board.
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]
Defending pairs champions Duhamel, Radford struggle at worlds video
Canada's Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford are a surprising seventh after struggling in their pairs short program at the world figure skating championships in Helsinki.
Live Blog World Figure Skating Championships
Follow the action in real time with live dispatches from CBC Sports' Pj Kwong, Scott Russell and Brenda Irving in Helsinki, Finland.
Meagan Duhamel: Sometimes you can't put a finger on what's wrong
Despite being a two-time defending world pairs champion with partner Eric Radford, Meagan Duhamel has endured a frustrating season. In her first-person account to CBC Sports, Duhamel delves into the real issues behind her roller-coaster year.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »