Are you suffering ISM-fatigue? Yeah, join the club. Still, we regretfully need to talk about AGEISM. It’s when we dismiss someone because of their age. Recent examples include the “okay boomer” memes or mocking the presidential candidate who is over 70. Oh wait, they both are. However, there are a number of athletes reminding us that age is just that… a number.
Florida’s Heidi Williams is over 60, and she has competed in over 400 races in the last 6 years. Using the word competed is hardly an overstatement. That means she doesn’t take shortcuts or skip obstacles. Heidi muscles through even the grueling, grip-strength obstacles that have minimal success rate, and men and women half her age struggle to keep up.
Hubie Cushman (mid-60s) should be an inspiration to every man who has even barely stepped foot over that hill (you know the one). Like Wiliams, Cushman is a world champion racer who trains during the week and racks up podiums on the weekend. However, despite his success as an athlete, Hubie may be best known and beloved as the race director for Indian Mud Run in Ohio. It’s considered one of... if not THE best single-location obstacle course race every year.
There are only a handful of 60-plussers who inspire the OCR world like Hubie and Heidi. However, once you cross that 70 threshold, there’s one name that stands out. Johanne Di Cori started training and racing in 2013 to honor her late husband. Then, in 2018, Johanne became the oldest Spartan, completing Killington at the age of 78.
Finally, there’s Mark Macy. He’s not as much of an obstacle course racer as he is a veteran adventure racer. His was one of the most inspiring, albeit heart wrenching stories featured in World’s Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji. While he’s been adventure racing for years, the race series documents Mark’s first and perhaps final race with his son, Travis, on Team Endure as a family comes to terms with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
These senior men and women will admit they’ve slowed down, but they refuse to let something as superficial as age stop them from going big, conquering obstacles, and crossing finish lines.
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