Posts Tagged ‘Central Park’

IMG_6800_2See the story with video CLICK here   While most people her age are playing bridge, an octogenarian is training for this year’s TCS NYC Marathon. I joined a marathoning Grandmother from New Paltz for a training run in Central Park. We started by her stretching ME out.  “Work work it girl one more stretch.” At 80 years old Geri Owens can show you a thing or two.  Make no mistake about it.  This marathoning grandmother has taught fitness in New Paltz for a couple decades – she says runners are the best kind of people.

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 Geri explains marathoners just watch out for each other, “if ‘ faster than me you slow down and I speed up and if I speed up and you slow down.”  She began running in the early 80s when her kids were all finally in school, explaining “the fourth  of my four children went to kindergarten…. So now is my chance.” And she was good at it.  Winning her age division at track meets and even qualifying for the Boston Marathon!

Geri says, “I think better I sleep better more energy more tolerance… clean cabinets after running 13 miles? I don’t think so…”  Geri has finished races from subfreezing 9 degrees to sizzling 90 degrees!  Her challenge in this year’s 26.2 mile race – finish under 7 hours as she pays tribute to those she has lost. 

Especially her siblings, “it’s the memory of my family… lost brother to Alzheimer’s and my sister died at 30,  my other sister at 57. I just want to do it and cross the finish line for them and I will get there because of them.”

Her strategy on race day is – high fiving kids on the course!  See you at the finish Geri and Goodluck from TEAM ABC7!  See her story on http://www.7online.com

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I admit I’m a social runner. I like to talk. It’s easy to start the conversation… you just talk about the weather, right? I’ve met several people (strangers) while running who have later become my friends. And I really hope the guy I met today wants to be friends! At first, I passed him. Then he passed me. I passed him going uphill, he passed me going down. Our pace was similar. Yet our strides totally different. I looked like a runner, he looked like, well, a juggler. I skipped the small talk about the clouds overhead and asked, “Are you doing that the entire time you are running?”

He smiled as if he’d been asked the same question dozens of times before. Today he juggled the entire 15 miles he was jogging in Central Park. And he’ll be running the marathon again this year while juggling (at about the same pace as me – not juggling!) Which came first? Juggling or Jogging? Juggling he says is his passion. He can juggle seven items but sticks to just 3 during the 26.2 mile marathon. He speaks with a pleasant accent because he’s originally from South Africa, now living in New York City. (I was asking a lot of questions and felt guilty since he was juggling while answering so I talked about my trip to his native South Africa but my story didn’t last long because more people were passing us and cheering at him as we approached Strawberry Fields.)

It’s not everyday you see a Joggler. Yes, that’s right. I was jogging with a joggler. Meet the very fit and youthful 66-year-old Jack Hirschowitz. He’s the oldest joggler to complete a marathon. Lots of people smile when he runs by, some might be silently wondering if he’s somewhat insane. Juggling while jogging. But you should know, he’s a psychiatrist. I asked him what a doctor would say about a man who jogs and juggles… he said it’s “a very good thing to desire to be fit.” I hope it’s just as sane to want to have a friend who is a joggler.

The ING New York City Marathon is Nov. 6th. Jack’s fastest marathon is 4:51. My goal is to beat the Joggler!

Joggling is a sport! Check out this blog JUST YOUR AVERAGE JOGGLER or you can email a guy who know show to get started joggling…. Perry Romanowski. thejoggler@gmail.com