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Gainesville/Miami guy
RE: Ed Whitlock - 85 yr old marathoner - gets nearly 1,500 word feature in NY Times by Jere Longman
Yes, Ed Whitlock is truly remarkable. But it puzzles me when the Mayo Clinic doctor says he is "about as close as you can get to minimal aging in a human being." And another researcher talks about his remarkable retention of muscle mass. The photos of him, not to mention his height and weight, certainly seem to dispute the latter. And the fact that he runs his amazing-for-an-85 year old marathon at roughly 9 minute pace, when he probably would have averaged 5:15-5:20 or better when young (based on his 2:31 in his late 40s), does not suggest minimal aging to me.
We all age. Ed Whitlock has fought off the physical decline that comes with aging better than virtually everyone. Yet even he is enormously diminished. The fact that he can still beat far younger runners does not change that reality.
My perspective/context: I'm 79. I'm no Ed Whitlock but I ran seriously for many decades, until arthritis, leading to replacing both hips, stopped me at age 58. I'm still fit (push-ups, dips, chin-ups, crunches etc plus exercise bike, street bike occasionally, lots of yard work and some walking). For most normal daily activities I feel little different than I did when young. But where running is concerned, the numbers don't lie. By the same token, thank god for those numbers. The times we ran in our best days can never be taken away from us.

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