Tag Archives: Inspiring

95 Years Old Athlete : Inspiring Story Of The Week : Leland Mcphie

So, what are your plans for your 95th birthday? I thought about that question after reading the life story of 95 year old athlete Leland Mcphie.

At last weekend US masters indoor championship Leland Mcphie competing in the weight toss,threw a 35-pound mass nearly 22 feet. It wasn’t a record, but it was good enough to win his age group.

That age group? 95 years and older. His is a story of 78 years athletic career.

According to a story of Leland Mcphie in the San diego tribune,

  • Born in Salt Lake City in March 1914, the oldest of nine children
  • a self-taught pole vaulter at Colton Union High School from 1929 to 1933.
  • At San Bernardino Valley College in 1935, using a bamboo pole, he set a vault record (12-10) that endured until 1961.
  • In 1973 he began playing tennis.
  • In 1994 he discovered the track out of curiosity. Dressed in tennis clothes and shoes, he tackled the 50-meter dash – and won his first race.

Mcphie training plan

He trains five days a week, he’s either toning muscles on the weight machines at the YMCA or practicing throws and jumps.

“He does a crossword puzzle each day,” McPhie’s granddaughter, Rochelle Michaels, told the Trib. “He has continued to exercise all his life. He has a strong spirit. He’s amazingly inspirational.”

Best Inspiring Books about Marathon Running

One of the best medicine for a runner who feels low is a good inspiring book. The following is a list of four inspiring books that I have come across.

  1. “My Life on the Run,” by Bart Yasso. The book chronicles experiences of the icon from Runner’s World magazine, providing humor and perspective any runner can appreciate.
  2. “Running with the Buffaloes,” by Chris Lear. An All-American runner in his college days, Lear set out to follow the 1998 cross country team at the University of Colorado. Lear takes the reader behind the scenes as the team faces adversity and tragedy.
  3. “Bowerman and the Men of Oregon,” by Kenny Moore. The author, a two-time Olympic marathoner, gives readers an exhaustive look at Bill Bowerman, the legendary track and field coach at the University of Oregon, his coaching philosophies and the program’s rise to national prominence.
  4. “Duel in the Sun,” by John Brant. The David versus Goliath tale of the 1982 Boston Marathon, which pitted America’s distance running star, Alberto Salazar, against gritty underdog Dick Beardsley, the Minnesota native and former Detroit Lakes resident.

Running Tip: From Winner of 2008 Chicago Marathon

Russian veteran runner Lidiya Grigoryeva captured the women’s crown at 2008 Chicago marathon. Her performance was more remarkable because she started the race with a sore hip.

This is what she told the media “the unseasonable heat was welcome, because it slowed the pace long enough for her to warm up a sore hip.”

The lesson here is that if you feel sore in the leg, knee, ankle don’t get discouraged instead start slow and once the area warms up you will start feeling fine.

Benefits Of Running Barefoot

I have always thought barefoot running is the most dangerous thing a runner can try (Just look at the bleeding feet of Abebe Bikila who won Gold at while running barefoot at 1960 Olympics).

My thought on barefoot running was changed a little bit when I read the following advice on runners world magazine.

Go Barefoot Once A Week
Strong feet and lower legs, plus flexible ankles, equal fewer injuries. One of the best ways to gain this strength and flexibility is by barefoot running, according to McMillan, because you have to work harder at each toe-off and landing. “Try to do a few barefoot strides or some light jogging equal to between one and three laps of a track once or twice each week,” he says. Level grass works the best.

Source: Runners world UK dot com

I will try running barefoot and see how it goes.

Paul Tergat Back at 2008 NYC Marathon

Paul Tergat will be running at 2008 New York marathon. He just finished second at last week Lisbon half marathon.That will give him confidence going to New York Marathon.

I doubt whether the old warrior has the endurance to compete at high level. At 39 years of age he seems to have been edged out by new young distance runners from Kenya. Just look at the ages of Kenya marathon team at Beijing Olympics.

1. Martin Lel – 30 Yrs

2. Robert Cheruiyot – 30 Yrs.

3. Samuel Wanjiru (Olympic Gold Medal winner)- 21 Yrs

Back in May he finished 19th at Bangalore 10K, the Indian National daily termed his performance “a forgettable 19th”

But 2008 has been the year old athletes got back their groove. Romanian Constantina Tomescu 38 won Gold in the womens Olympic marathon and in the pool American swimmer Dara Torres won silver at ripe age of 41 years. Old is gold!!

Mick ‘n’ Phil: Runner Pushing Son On WheelChair

Running alone is hard enough, Imagine running a 42K marathon while pushing someone on a wheelchair.

This is the incredible story of Mick and Phil, Mick is the parent of Phil who is extremely disabled and in a wheelchair. Phil suffers from Cerebral Palsy. His father Mick is a very accomplished runner and he and Phil have run many half marathons/marathons over the years. Mick pushing Phil’s wheelchair.


Their personal best is 4 hours 12 minutes.

On Mick ‘n’ Phil website, Mic narrates how they started running. “My wife gave me an ultimatum in early 2002, “either take Phillip in his wheelchair running with you, or pack it all in as, as I cannot cope any longer”. Well, I can tell you now, I thought it was the end of things, so I had a long hard think. Would the wheelchair stand up to it? Would Phillip like it? and most importantly, could I do this whilst pushing him? Running is hard enough at times no matter what standard you are. This was make or break, all or nothing. We started with a 2 mile fun run, taking 17m 45s, moved up to a 10k clocking 46m then tackled a 10 miler in a time of 1hr 48m. The final test was the full marathon where we achieved a time of 4hr 12m. This was fantastic, we were both loving it and quite simply, having the time of our lives. The rest they say, is history.”

Running Tip : Learn How to Race With People

“I understand that I need to be able to run my own style of racing. I was up with the guys for a while, and then when I fell off, I was able to find my own rhythm and catch back up again. That was a big confidence boost for me, to know that just because people get away from you once, that you can still get back up to them. I need to learn how to race with people, but also how to run my own race.”

Ryan Hall, USA marathon runner explaining what he learnt  the first time he ran against top athletes at 2008 London Marathon.

Dara Torres: Old Athletes Competing at Beijing Summer Olympics

Every Saturday morning I pick a copy of Newsweek and Time Magazine from my newspaper vendor. This week, Newsweek cover story is about Chinese and their inferiority complex (I thought they were proud and confident!). Time has a cover photo of American swimmer Dara Torres with a line “at 41 years old she is faster than ever.”

Swimmer, Dara Torres age made me look at some of the old athletes at this month’s Beijing summer olympics. Although Olympics games celebrate youth and vitality there is a large number of athletes at Beijing summer Olympics who have refused to grow old.



1. 67 year old Japanese Hiroshi Hoketsu, to Compete at Beijing summer Olympics

Hiroshi Hoketsu competed in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and will be competing again in this years Beijing Olympics aged 67.

His age mates will be at home seated in front of a TV about for this green horse Jumper “I want to go as high as possible,” he said after the Japan Equestrian Federation announced he will be competing in the team dressage. “I feel relieved. If you have a goal, you can stay young. It would be good if people of my generation feel the same.”

2. 60 Years Old Australian Laurie Lever

Another horse jumper from down under. If Japanese Hiroshi will need someone to talk about the 60s, (The beatles and the cold war) then Lever will offer great company.

3. Haile Satayin 53 yrs Old Israel runner will be the oldest marathon runner at Beijing summer Olympics

At 53 years old Satayin will be the oldest runner at the start of Beijing marathon. If you think Haile Satayin is too old to run at this level, keep in mind that 4 years ago at Athens Olympics marathon the man was finisher No. 20. His personal best time for a marathon is 2 hours, 14 minutes, and 21 seconds at a competition in Venice in 2003. Read Haile Satayin training programme.

4. 41 Year Old Dara Torres, American swimmer

She was there 1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, and now 2008. On August 1st, 2007 at the age of 40 (just 15 months after giving birth to her first child), she won gold in the 100 meter freestyle at the U.S. Nationals. 26 years after she first set the American 50m freestyle record at just 15 years old.

5. 38 Years Old David Kimutai, Kenya Race walker

Kenya Olympic squad will be one of the youngest at the summer games, the youngest athletes is 18 years old Pamela Jelimo, favorite to win 800m Gold. One odd member will be David Kimutai who will celebrate his 38th birthday on 16th August. In an interview with a local TV station, the Air force officer insisted he is not just another tourist, but he will try to win one of the three medals.

6. 38 year Old Mark Foster from Great Britain

The oldest member of Great Britain swimming team. Has won 47 major international medals in remarkable career, but no Olympic Games medals. Will this be his time?

Growing old doesn’t mean you have to be sick, bored and unfulfilled.

Running and Your Faith

Mike Ratliff a Christian blogger wrote an interesting article about Christian faith and marathon running.

He begins by reminding Christians that a Christian walk is a race, but it is not a sprint nor is it a mile, It is a marathon.

Dealing with self doubts

The more I read the post the more I reflected on how similar a marathon is to a Christian life. As a runner I have faced temptations just like Jesus faced temptation 40 days in the wilderness. The difference between Jesus temptation and our temptation as runners is Jesus was fighting the devil/satan while in our case the battle is against our doubts and fear. The temptation to give up is strong especially at the 20 mile mark when you have run out of glycogen. It is my determination to finish that keeps me going.

Mike advices that you learn to be Spirit-filled; then as you draw near to the finish line you will discover that there will be multitudes awaiting you, cheering you on as you cross that finish line.

Running with God

At the start of a marathon I have seen many runners make a sign of the cross before the race. If you are a man or woman of faith, believing that God is behind you might keep you going.

Have a blessed sunday

How Running Inspired James Dyson to be a Billionaire Businessman

My Apologies for not posting for the last two days. The internet connection to my town was disconnected and there was nothing I could do.

Without internet I have been doing some old fashion reading.

I have just finished reading the book, Against The Odds, the amazing story of British Entrepreneur, James Dyson. For those who might know who Dyson is. In 1978 James Dyson invented a better vacuum cleaner, James Dyson offered his invention to major manufacturers. One by one they turned him down, apparently not interested in new technology. After 15 years of unsuccessfully knocking on corporates doors, Dyson decided to go it alone. Today he is one of the richest men in UK with a fortune estimated at $1.5 Billion.

How the the never say die spirit was born on Dyson

Dyson was educated at Gresham’s School, Holt, Norfolk England, from 1956 to 1965, where he excelled in long distance running: ” I was quite good at it, not because I was physically good, but because I had more determination. I learned determination from it.”

It’s about time running was made a mandatory extra-curricular activity in our school!