These 90-year-old runners have some advice for you.


Anshin Sports Complex, located in Miramar, Florida, stands out just like any other high school track and field event. There was also a practice area where players could jog and stretch. There were restless runners hovering around the track with tarps providing shade from the hot Florida sun.

However, athletes participating in the national senior game track and field events were several more gray haired than their teenage athletes. Some grandchildren cheered for them in the stands.

Most runners were between the ages of 75 and 99 and didn’t start running until they were in their 60s. Some needed a little help putting their shoes on before heading to the starting line. However, they all shared a determination to compete and complete each race.

They gave a lot of advice for young runners hoping to follow in their footsteps around the 400-meter high ellipse.

Be consistent, keep moving, keep moving.

age 82, Charleston, South Carolina

Walter Lancaster said, “I try to inspire. “A lot of people are lazy or know something. And I said, ‘Look. You have to keep moving.’ That’s the secret. Just keep moving.”

As an avid competitor, the 82-year-old Lancaster has learned on his own how to complement his athletics in track and field events (both throwing and jumping). “If he hates running, he’ll find a lot of reasons not to run,” he said.

Lancaster doesn’t expect it to slow down anytime soon. “You can just enjoy it,” he added. “I will keep doing it as long as my joints can stand it.”

93 years old, Cleveland, Tennessee

Lillian Atchley said there isn’t much advice for new runners. “I think you just need a love of racing and a determination to do it,” she said.

Attley, 93, from Cleveland, Tennessee, participated in all the track events offered at Miramar. 50 meter dashes, 100, 400, 800 and 1,500 for women aged 90-95 years.

The 50 meter race was a close match. Patricia Fujii and Yvonne Aasen tied for first place with 20.43 seconds, while Atchley finished third with 20.53 seconds. She finished second in the 100-meter run, behind Fujii Fujii, who won the race in 44.28 in 43.25.

“The people in the execution community are great,” she said.

99 years old, Springfield, Virginia

At 99, Roy Englert was one of the oldest contestants in the National Senior Games. He reached the final in the 400 meters in 3:35:47.

Englert credits his success with a simple equation. “My consistent advice is to keep moving, keep moving, keep moving and have a little luck,” he said.

Age 90, Westminster, MD

Many have called Yvonne Aasen an inspiration. But running is “just what I do,” she said. “I feel good when I run, and I feel like I’m missing something when I’m not running,” she said.

As a member of two running clubs, Annapolis Striders and Westminster Road Runners Club, she accepts opportunities to compete. Like her friendly rival, 93-year-old Atchley, Aasen entered the 50, 100, 400, 800 and 1,500 m. In some races, she was one of only two runners. But she didn’t care. “I feel competitive even when there is no competition,” she said.

And for runners who want to keep pace? “Run every day, even if it’s a short distance,” she said. “I can’t run much now, but when I can’t run anymore, I will still walk.”

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