ANYONE who thinks they're too old to stay in shape would be well served to stop by the University of Manitoba on Sunday morning, when 86-year-old Hortense Lamoureux crosses the half-marathon finish line.
"I'm very excited and also ready to get it over with," said Lamoureux, who has run the half since 2006. By sticking to a training regimen comprised of three five-mile runs each week along with a long outdoor run each Saturday, she's looking to top her own personal best of 2:15:31, which broke the Canadian Masters Athletic Association record for women in her age group.
"(My time) depends on the weather, really, that's what keeps us going," she said. Cooler, cloudier temperatures help prevent runners from overheating.
Lamoureux began running at the Reh-Fit Centre 30 years ago with her late husband Ovid, who battled through seven bypass surgeries. "Back then...I could run eight miles three days a week," she said.
"Of course, I was much younger," she added with a laugh. As consistent as she is with her impressive fitness regimen, she's admittedly equally as careless with her diet.
"Oh, my diet is really, really bad," she admitted. "The man I was running with this morning asked, 'Do you use much salt?' and I just said, 'Oh my God, yes! Why not?' "
Race day notes
-- Registration closes today at 5 p.m. but the number of participants was already closing in on a record as of Friday afternoon with a total of 13,350. Executive director Shirley Lumb said the goal is 14,000. Last year's total was a record 13,190.
-- The Rick McLennan Memorial Awards were handed out to Brian Walker and Julie Poole at a luncheon at McPhillips Station Casino on Friday.
The awards are given to the fastest male and female Manitobans who completed their first full marathon the previous year.
-- Due to a route adjustment resulting from the closure of the Jubilee overpass, Pembina Highway will be closed from 6:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. That adjustment also created the need to divert the course into the Armstrong Point neighbourhood for the first time. Motorists are advised to plan their morning accordingly.
-- The 2.6-km Great-West Life Super Run also has a new route, taking runners around the perimeter road of the U of M campus.
-- In a continued effort to reduce its environmental footprint, the Manitoba Marathon plans to improve on last year when 85 per cent of all waste was recycled or reused. As well, all marathon literature is printed on materials approved by the Forest Stewardship Council, and Manitoba Forestry and Trees for Tomorrow will be handing out tree seedlings on Sunday.
-- Due to an increase in participation, the Intrepid Dezine Half Marathon will have a two-wave start.