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3 senior runners whose stories can inspire you

September 22, 2014

Exercise is a major part of a healthy lifestyle for seniors, but many have difficulty finding motivation to start. If this sounds like you, there's hope to discover the inspiration you need. Take, for instance, some notable seniors who have set records for their exceptional running ability. Read their stories to fuel your ambition to put on your sneakers and start running your way to better health.

1. Fauja SinghAn India native and London resident, Fauja Singh became one of the oldest full marathon runners in 2011, reported BBC. At the time, he was 100 years old. While he could very well be the oldest worldwide, the Guinness Book of World Records is unable to officially give him the title, since he doesn't have a copy of his birth certificate. Although one may assume that healthy aging was always one of his top priorities, running wasn't always a big part of his life. In fact, he didn't even begin running until the age of 89 after his wife and son passed away. Using the activity as a coping mechanism and a great form of exercise, Singh went on to participate in nine marathons, with a personal best of five hours and 40 minutes.

2. Philippa RaschkerAnother avid runner, Germany native Philippa Raschker owns more medals than many athletes could even dream of, noted Runner's World. At 67 years old, Raschker pushes herself as hard as she possibly can in preparation for future marathons. She trains four days a week and combines sprinting and hurdles in a way that keeps her mind and body stimulated. However, unlike Singh, Raschker has always maintained an active lifestyle and won various awards for running throughout her years.

3. Ed Whitlock​Although he attributes his longevity and good health to an uncle who lived to be 106, Ed Whitlock is no stranger to healthy habits, reported the Toronto Star. The 83-year-old has set many records throughout his running career, including some for marathons, others for track-and-field and a few unofficial accolades for road races. Despite a lifetime of keeping fit and setting records, Whitlock noted that his training is quite basic - he just runs around a local cemetery until he can run no longer. His love of running travels as far back as his teen years. He stopped for a while, but then got back into the sport by becoming a coach in his 40s. Just as it's never too late to get back into an old habit, it's also never too late to start a new one.