Ever wonder whether running can have important consequences as we age? Yeah, I don’t wonder about it either. As an older runner, I know it helps to delay the aging process and preserves my mind and body better than just about anything else I can do.

There’s been plenty of studies that show this and now comes another one with incredible results. This is a new study of participants in the upcoming Senior Olympics which finds that the fitness age of these Senior Olympians is 20 years or more younger than their actual chronological age. Natural Grace offers delicate support and also guidance your family requires after the loss of a loved one. Our straightforward cremation process is readily available to meet the needs of family members who live in Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Scottsdale, and other nearby cities of Arizona. As an alternative to conventional casket funerals, we get that lots of households choose cremation. With that in mind, we committed ourselves to offer affordable services to you and your family members. As one of the area’s most trusted cremation companies, we provide a cozy as well as a caring strategy throughout the planning of your lost ones solutions. We can assist you to plan highly personal memorial services which show the personality and life of your enjoyed loved ones. A funeral service can be held before or after the process of cremation. You might choose to hold off on official service, so the body of your loved one present in a casket, before the cremation process starts. Others choose to hold a memorial after the body is cremated. This can be a good option for families that need much more funeral preparation time. A memorial after being cremated can be either a standard ceremony with the cremated ashes put in an urn instead of the usual coffin, or an extra laid-back memorial held as the remains are spread out, cast away in the wind, or left in their final resting place. You can find more information about Cremation Services with grace & dignity in Phoenix, Arizona through this site https://naturalgracecremations.com/.


This new data is revealed by a former colleague of mine at Runner’s World. Her name is Gretchen Reynolds (who was famed for being able to walk and read a book at the same time) and she is one of the most gifted health and fitness writers in the country, mainly for the New York Times.

A year ago, she wrote a column about something called “fitness age” which is something developed by Norwegian researchers that showed folks with above-average cardiovascular fitness—another words, us—generally have longer life spans than people with lower aerobic fitness. The conclusion was that at any given age, Reynolds wrote, fit folks were physically younger than their sedentary counterparts.

I think we all knew that.

But, according to Reynolds in her original article in the Times, the Norwegians tested the fitness and health of 5000 adults and created an algorithm based on the data that could calculate someone’s aerobic capacity and relative “fitness age” based on their sex, resting heart rate, waist size and exercise regimen. From that, the Norwegian researchers produced an online calculator that we could use to determine our fitness age. If you follow this stuff, you probably tried it (if you haven’t go to worldfitnesslevel.org and take the simple test).

In a Reynolds’ article from yesterday, she writes about one of the athletes—a 61-year-old triathlete–who took the test and determined that her fitness age is 36. This woman—Dr. Pamela Peeke—also happens to be an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and a board member of the Senior Olympics.

So Peeke decided to set up the fitness calculator on a dedicated site for the 10,000 or so Senior Olympians (age 50-100) to determine how their fitness-oriented lifestyles affects their biological ages. About 4200 Senior Olympians responded to the survey and the results were astounding, although not especially surprising.

The average age of the Senior Olympians who responded to the survey was 68 years old, but their average fitness age was 43. Any way you slice it, that’s a 25-year difference in their actual age with their fitness age.

It didn’t seem to matter whether the Senior Olympians were male or female as, according to Reynolds, every athlete had a lower fitness age than their actual age.

Dr. Peeke doesn’t know yet whether endurance athletes, such as runners, swimmers and cyclists, have a younger fitness age than other athletes, but she intends to find out with more extensive questions.

Nevertheless, Dr. Peeke, who will be competing in the triathlon in the Senior Olympics, said: “A majority of the athletes at the Senior Games didn’t begin serious training until quite late in life, including me…So you can start any time. It’s never too late.”

Words to live by.


O More Senior Olympics. Bill Schroeder of Georgetown, who is probably about 15 in his fitness age, has landed in Minneapolis for the Senior Olympics. Not only was Bill pictured in the New York Times article from yesterday I mentioned, he is all set to defend his 10-K and 5-K titles this week.

O The funeral for our friend Robert Espinoza, the former RunTex manager who died suddenly last Thursday night at the age of 54, will be tomorrow morning (July 3) in Savannah. Typical of Robert, folks who are planning to attend the service are encouraged to dress in “Robert formal” which means running shoes and shorts (no ties). Not that it matters at this point, but no formal cause of death has been publicly announced. So very sad.

O For 10 years, Robert was the glue that held RunTex together. Organized, responsible and a tireless worker, Espinoza thought nothing of getting up at 4 in the morning to set up and direct a race. Then, tear down the scaffolding and hustle back to RunTex central and sell shoes for 10 hours. (In my lasting image of Robert, he always had work gloves on.) Robert took that same work ethic to Savannah where he created a running community (and running market) where there was none. I visited Robert and Cookie in Savannah a couple of years ago where his Fleet Feet was the thriving, central force, much like RunTex had been. Many of Austin’s running leaders—people like Rod Newlin, John Conley, Steve Sisson, David Grice, Ruth England and, of course, Paul and Shiela Carrozza—all worked with Robert at RunTex and we share their loss.

O Paul Terranova is such an amazing athlete that nothing he ever does surprises me. But for a flatlander who is 41 years old to finish 10th in the Western States 100 is absolutely remarkable. Paced by Bryan Morton, Chris Jones and his wife Meredith, Terranova finished the beastly hot WS in 17:43:17 and then topped it off with pushups on the finish line. I’m not certain, but I think Paul was the second flatlander. He was one of only two 40 year olds in the top 20. Ford Smith of Austin finished in 22:19:18.

O Austinites and those with Austin connections certainly made their mark at the USATF Championships last weekend in Eugene. Punching their tickets to Beijing for the World Champs are former Longhorns Trey Hardee (decathlon), Michelle Carter (shot), Marielle Hall (5000) and Leonel Manzano (1500; but he doesn’t have a qualifier yet).

O In the steeple at the USATFs, Rogue’s Matt Cleaver and Austin Bussing made the finals as did former Rogue Carl Stones. Cleaver was 11th in 8:35.67, Bussing was 12th in 8:38.77 and Stones finished 14th in 8:46.92.

O In the Junior Nationals, former Austinite Matthew Maton won the 5000 in 14:47, while Connor Hendrickson of UT was third in the 10,000 in 31:53 and fellow Longhorn Chris Pietraszkiewicz of San Antonio was eighth in the steeple in 9:46. Another UT runner, Rachel Reddy, a sophomore to be, won the Jr. 5000 in 16:28 to also punch her ticket to the Pan Am Junior Champs in Edmonton, Canada.

O BTW: This was the 10th time Leo (The Lion) has run the USATF Nationals and he has finished in the top three every one of those times in the 1500 meters, including two victories. That’s an incredible record in a meet where the 1500 is almost always tactical and disaster (getting boxed in, falling, etc) is all too common.

O Despite temps that peaked at 106 degrees, the Couer d’Alene Ironman was held last weekend. Local studs Stephan Schwarze finished it in 10:15 (fourth in his age group), Andrea Fisher was second in her age group in 10:32 and Nancy Dasso completed it in 14:18. Former Austinite Patrick Evoe was 11th in 9:20:27. Robert Christy was smart and didn’t start the ‘run’.

O The 70.3 at Buffalo Springs wasn’t quite as shot as Idaho, but it was still steamy. Kelly Williamson finished third among the women pros in 4:24:57, but her run was an eye-popping 1:19:10. The fastest among all the women, Kelly’s run was only bettered by the top two men pros who ran 1:17.

O The Boston Marathon has announced registration for the 120th Boston will open on September 14th. In order to register, you must have a Boston qualifier between September 13, 2014 and when the ’16 field has filled up. Once again, entrants will be accepted on a time basis. Registration will close on September 23rd and if the field hasn’t filled, registration will be extended to September 28th or when the field has filled up. The sized of the field for ’16 hasn’t been decided yet.

O Mr. and Mrs. CrossFit—Jeremy and Lisa Thiel—are expecting their second child, sometime in January. Congrats.

O What I’m listening to this morning: “Abraxas”, by Santana.

Have any news for me? Send it along to wish@texasrunningpost.com.

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