My last Boston, darn it! That was the subject of a previous blog. And, indeed, I have promised my beloved Margie that, from now on, I will limit my competitive runs to half-marathons or less.
But then, just last week, I read that Canadian Ed Whitlock, 85 years old, three years my senior, not only had run the Toronto Waterfront Marathon but had done it in the amazing time of 3 hours, 56 minutes. I did my last marathon, in Boston last April, in 6 hours and 8 minutes. And I was, relatively, a puppy of 81!
The last time I beat 4 hours was in Los Angeles in 2007 — 3 hours, 58 minutes. I was then just 72 years old — 13 years younger than Ed Whitlock is now. Age makes a huge difference!
As Whitlock, a retired mining engineer, told The New York Times: “I believe people can do far more than they think they can.” But he adds: “You have to be idiot enough to try it.”
How does Whitlock train? He runs laps around a Toronto cemetery (!) for three to three-and-a-half hours at a time. I can’t imagine the boredom! I almost always run by myself but I make a point of varying my routes in our Hawaii Kai neighborhood. And I never go out without a headset affixed to my trusty iPhone radio, listening to news or talk shows on Hawaii Public Radio. Perhaps Ed finds comfort in quiet — which surely a cemetery has in abundance! I can understand that.
Perhaps most of all I appreciate Ed’s providing an example that there are some folks out there even nuttier than I am.