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Science & Technology

85-year-old marathon runner baffles experts

By T.K. Randall
January 1, 2017 · Comment icon 6 comments

Running a marathon is a gruelling challenge at the best of times. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Chmee2
Ed Whitlock recently broke the world record by completing a marathon in just under four hours.
If you have been planning to start a new fitness regime this year but are worried that you won't be able to manage it, spare a thought for 85-year-old Ed Whitlock - a man who not only manages to keep fit but is even able to run entire marathons faster than people a fraction of his age.

The octogenarian, who took up competitive running in his 40s, still holds the world record for running a marathon in under three hours at the age of 75 and now holds a similar record for completing the same distance in under four hours at the age of 85.

What makes his incredible feats all the more remarkable is the fact that he hasn't done anything particularly noteworthy to achieve any of it - his diet and exercise regime are pretty standard.
According to Dr Michael Joyner, a performance and aging researcher at Mayo Clinic, it appears that Whitlock's incredible athletic feats are down to what he calls 'minimal aging'.

By testing the 85-year-old's VO2 max reading, which determines how much oxygen an athlete can use, Dr Joyner found that Whitlock has lungs equivalent in fitness to those of a teenager.

The man himself however simply attributes his success to a willingness to try.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (6)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by XenoFish 8 years ago
How is that baffling. I'd love and hope to be fit at that age, if I make it to that age.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Lilly 8 years ago
He's done marathons for a long time (over 40 years) it's not like he's the average 85 year old. I think it's great that he's been lucky enough (good health) to be able to keep it up. It's kind of funny, I'm only in my early 60s and I don't even run but I do walk for miles with my dog. Sometimes people are amazed that I will walk 5 or 6 miles in a morning. It's all what you're used to and walking a few miles is normal for me.
Comment icon #3 Posted by IamthemanfromNantucket 8 years ago
That man is an inspiration.
Comment icon #4 Posted by coolguy 8 years ago
Its called cheating and takeing a cab hahaha, the guy is not human 2 hours i would die of a heart attack in the frist 20 feet
Comment icon #5 Posted by spartan max2 8 years ago
I'm really kind of sick of all the "scientist are baffled by (fill in the blank)" headlines lol.   
Comment icon #6 Posted by brlesq1 8 years ago
Good for him! I ran a marathon once. Used to run regularly until my knees blew out. I'm working on walking again. My inspiration!

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