As the sun rose over the white sands of Hollywood Beach, senior athletes warmed up their muscles in preparation for the 5K Road Race at the 2022 National Senior Games presented by Humana. Charnow Park provided a picturesque start to the competition, with towering palm trees and a wide paved broadwalk with beach houses, luxury condos and park space facing a pristine beach.
After the athletes took off for their 3.1-mile route, families anxiously lined the finish approach, waiting to cheer their loved ones on with signs and noisemakers.
Texas Trekker Mary Kaplan Did it Big, and Now She’s Doing it Small
Mary Kaplan has not only run a 5K race in all 50 states, she has also achieved the goal to run a 5K in every Texas county, and there’s a whopping 254 of them. Not bad for someone who accidentally found her sport at the age of 43. (Read our 2018 story here)
Now 83, the retired Air Force nurse won’t repeat the county sweep, but she has found a new goal – run a race in little known or quirky-named towns in Texas. “There’s hundreds of little towns nobody has heard of, and it’s something fun to do.”
Asked to give examples of town names, she replies, “Weeping Mary is one I enjoyed finding. Then there’s Best, and Very Best – those are two different towns!” Given that she lives in the small town of Sunrise Beach, Texas, which does not have a beach, may have contributed to her inspiration. You go Mary!
“Mr. Competition” Gets a Birthday Boost from the Calendar
Dr. Diego Humphrey from Oklahoma was thrilled to beat his goal time by five minutes in the May 12 National Senior Games 5K. A cardiologist, Diego stays active to set a good example for his patients. His wife, Ellen, adds that he also has a competitive streak, jokingly calling Diego “Mr. Competition.”
A lifelong runner, Diego prefers longer distances and has completed numerous half marathons and five marathons, including the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, which is special to him. Honoring those killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing keeps Diego motivated on tough extended runs.
These National Senior Games are Diego’s first and have a special twist – he’ll turn 66 the day between his 5K and 10K races. Happy birthday, Diego, we hope your first 10K at 66 is your best yet!