When people get older it’s normally seen as time to slow down and partake in less strenuous exercise. But some people think differently. Many seniors will continue to keep fit well into old age, and a few of them will go the extra mile and even break world records, like this senior athlete British octogenarian.
84-year-old Tony Bowman has been given the title of fastest 84-year-old in the world. He’s always been running as a hobby, a trend starting when he was a young man, but while many of his peers have traded athletics for sitting in front of the TV or doing the gardening, he still goes out running four times a week to get his exercise.
He’s set a world record in the 80-metre hurdles for those aged 80-84, taking fewer than 17 seconds to complete them. He represented Great Britain in the recent European Masters competition, and on top of his hurdles victory won an additional two medals. The 400m relay brought a silver medal, and he won bronze in the decathlon. He also came fourth in the 100m and fifth in the 200m.
It would be an admirable achievement for anyone of any age, let alone for an octogenarian. There are a number of other elderly athletes, some of whom are even older than Tony. 108-year-old Fauja Singh completed the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 5 hours and 40 minutes when 92 years old in 2003 and since taking up running again at 81 has completed eight marathons in total.
Is so much physical exercise safe? Tony has had two heart attacks as well as an abnormal heart rhythm, but it hasn’t stopped him completing his age-defying tasks. He plans on running until he’s 100 years old, and who’s to say he won’t be able to? Fauja Singh is 24 years older than Tony and walks 5km each day.
As Tony and Fauja have shown, it’s never too late to start exercise. Although, it’s probably better to start before you get to 108 years old. Then, there’s no reason why you can’t emulate these seniors and go running at their ages.
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