SPORTS EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo (The Freeman) - February 19, 2019 - 12:00am

Rening Ylaya, 82, and Dr. Abe Manlawe, 74, were Cebu’s active oldest runners before their demise last year.  Rening died on Valentine’s Day while Abe followed a week later.  I’m seventy-one myself having ran for 35 years. 

My “kumpare” Relly Mercado is 78 and still running. Well, here’s some  amazing oldies who are definitely goodies. Harriette Thompson, 92, is the world’s oldest woman to finish a marathon.  In 2015, Thompson completed the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon. Katherine Biers, 85, of Santa Cruz, California was the oldest female in the 2017 Boston Marathon.

She finished in 4:44:53 to place second in age division in the 2016 edition of the race. Ed Whitlock, who died in 2017 at 86 years old, owned 50 world age-group records ranging in distance from 1,500m through the marathon. Ed finished the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Marathon in 3:56:38 to win the world record in the 85 to 89 age group. Sister Marion Irvine was 200 pounds and smoked 2 packs of cigarettes a day. She was 47 years old.  She ran her first marathon, the 1980 Avenue of Giants at age 50. In 1989 she set American and world records in the 3,000m. In 1983, she qualified for the Olympics when she clocked 2:51 at age 54.  John A. Kelly ran the Boston Marathon 61 times, winning in 1935 and 1945.

Did you know?

ROBERT DE  NIRO who played boxer Jake La Motta in the film Raging Bull, prepared for the role by sparring with La Motta himself for a full year and giving the former champ multiple black eyes, several smashed teeth and a broken rib.  De Niro also crackled two of Joe Pesci’s ribs during a fight training.

GRETE  WAITZ. In 1978, Grete Waitz of Oslo-Norway and record holder in the 1,500, 3,000 meters, 10k, 15k, and 20k, called the New York Road Runners Club to get an invitation to the 1978 New York City Marathon but was turned down.  Even with her sprint accomplishments, she has never run a marathon. Then race director Fred Lebow called Waitz and asked her if she wants to race as a “rabbit”, someone who would set the pace for elite women. Waitz, who was not even familiar with the finish line in CentralPark, just kept on running and didn’t know she won the race when she crossed the finish line in world record time. Waitz won the New York City Marathon in an unprecedented nine times and broke her 1978 record when she clocked 2:25:42 in the 1980 edition.

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