Today is my 31st birthday. I’ve never been one to really freak out about birthdays and getting older. There are moments when it sucks though. Like when my dad told me last year “ya know, you’re getting to the age where you just don’t recover from your workouts as well”. Thanks dad. But I’ve always said that age is just a number, and luckily I have great examples of that in my life to keep me inspired as the years keep piling on. My dad regularly kicks my ass on the road bike. My mom can do 10 times more pull-ups than I can. Literally. I can barely muster 1 and she can bust out 10. And my 80 year old grandma still hikes almost every day. Maybe it’s good genes, maybe it’s hard work, or both, but it’s inspiring to have examples of people who don’t let age slow them down. So on this day I decided to look up statistics on age and athletic endeavors that are inspiring and motivating. I apologize if any of these stats are incorrect, as they are not well researched (just a quick Google search). Even if they are, they are still pretty darn impressive!
- Oldest person to climb Everest: Yuichiro Miura, who summited the highest peak in the world at age 80 this year. He also climbed it at age 70 and 75.
- Oldest marathon runner: Fauja Singh, who completed Toronto’s Waterfront Marathon in 2011 at the age of 100! By the way, he STARTED running at age 89.
- Oldest Ironman finisher: Lew Hollander, who finished the Ironman Championships in Kona, Hawaii in 2011 at age 81. If you think he was the only one in his age category, think again. He had competition in 81 year old France Cokan.
- Oldest Olympian: Oscar Swahn, who competed in shooting in the 1920 Olympics at the age of 72. He was good too, winning the gold medal in the 1912 Olympics (at age 64)!
- Oldest Tour de France rider: Henri Paret, who was 50 years when he competed in 1904 (okay that one is not as inspiring as the others, but still pretty incredible for a race that tough!)
- Oldest Pikes Peak Ascent finisher (male): Ivor L Welch, who completed the 1980 Ascent at age 85.
- Oldest Pikes Peak Ascent finisher (female): Kay Martin, who completed the 2012 Ascent at age 75.
Age is not an excuse!