A while back, I did a post called 40 Is The New 30. It was about runners who are 40+ and still at the top of their game. I mentioned Deena Kastor, Colleen de Reuck, Haile Gebrselassie, Mike Wardian, Mike Morton and Marco Olmo.
Jen Rhines, a Central New York native, just turned 40 as well. She will be in town next weekend trying to set the American Masters 5k record – the time to beat is 15:48 (Colleen de Reuck). The race is just a few blocks from my house and I will be there cheering her on (unless I decide to race that day).
Runners are able to compete at a high level through their 40s. Beyond that, we can compete for age-group awards. A few years back, Henry Sypniewski ran 33:46 for 5k (in Syracuse) at the age of 90!
In other sports, it’s not so easy. In baseball, most players are in decline by their mid-30s and the few players that go beyond 40 are usually hanging on (Mariano Rivera was a rare exception). Derek Jeter isn’t having his best year. Then again, nobody expected him to. However, he is still Derek Jeter. He is still Captain Clutch with a game on the line. Am I sad to see him go? Absolutely. But not all sports are as kind as running.
I am sad that the baseball season is nearly over – it’s my second favorite sport (after running, of course). I am truly sad that the game is losing one of its greatest ambassadors. With that being said, I am thankful for the memories. And maybe, just maybe, the end of Derek’s baseball career will coincide with the beginning of his running career.
Have a great weekend!