At the National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio, I had Sunday off from competition. I took the opportunity to do a leisurely morning run and cheer on the Triathlon participants. After watching some incredible athletes, I walked from the finish chatting with another Games participant about events.
Me: Are you competing today?
She: I’m competing in Swimming. I used to compete in Cycling, but now I’m too old.
Me: How old is too old?
She: I’m 93. I may ride in the State Games next year, but I won’t compete on the bike at the Nationals again. My daughter tells me I’m too old.
She also offered that her daughter has little room for criticism, as she is a 68-year old who continues to do several hundred mile bike rides.
My new acquaintance and I said good-bye at the street corner where I walked on to my hotel and she crossed the street to catch the shuttle to hers.
That refreshing conversation was typical of many I’ve had over the last few days. Opening ceremonies on a beautiful mall adjacent to the Convention Center included several fantastic bands, the arrival of a flame to begin the games and fireworks lighting the sky. Cleveland welcomed 11,000 lycra-clad and fit seniors ready for competition and, based on the general mood on the Mall, ready to have a good time. Those 11,000 athletes brought with them roughly 18,000 family members and friends.
Some of those athletes are as young as 50, two athletes are over 100, and the rest of us are somewhere in between.
The Convention Center in Cleveland is incredibly convenient and the Senior Games have done a beautiful job of staffing volunteers and providing a great venue with lots of informative and fun activities located at the Center.
I’m competing in two running events and will write about those in a later post. In the meantime, I’ll simply say I am sold on the National Senior Games and wondering why I waited this long to compete. This isn’t just track and field and road running. There are more than two dozen sports represented – basketball, softball, golf, volleyball, tennis – and some I’m not even familiar with.
If this is of interest to you, start early. To compete in the National Senior Games, held in odd-numbered years, participants must first qualify the previous year at the state level. You can do this in your own state, or some states will allow out-of-staters do use their venue for qualification.
I did this, qualifying for the 5K through the Keystone Games in Pennsylvania in July or August of 2012 and qualifying for the 10K through the Delaware Seniors Games event in October 2012.
And how old is too old? As long as there is another age group, we’re not too old.
Will you be there? Who’s in?
- National Senior Games an inspiration (patriotledger.com)
- Cleveland hosting National Senior Games (timesreporter.com)
- Cleveland hosting National Senior Games (indeonline.com)
- ‘NCX Welcomes The National Senior Games To Cleveland (wncx.cbslocal.com)