Meet Betty. Betty is 70 years young and this weekend, she’ll be running the Umstead 100-mile race in North Carolina. Yes, you read that right–she’s 70 and running a 100-miler.
I met Betty last weekend at the ChiRunning clinic I attended. Betty was one of the instructors who helped out and she amazed us all with her beautiful running form and energy to spare. I was so impressed that I had to share her story.
Betty wasn’t always the energizer bunny that she is today. Some 40 years ago, Betty was over 200 lbs, a smoker, and lacking the energy to run around with her young daughter. She took up running and made drastic changes to her diet and transformed her life. Since 1988 she’s run 76 half marathons, marathons and ultras on all seven continents. Over the past seven years she’s adopted the chi running technique as well as embraced minimalist shoes.
What’s the secret to Betty’s success? She claims it can be found in her willingness to work long and hard and eat the right things, which has resulted in more than two decades without illness, aches, or pains. In fact, Betty says that she has finished 24 hour races, without rest breaks, with more energy than when she started. Her fitness level can’t be argued, as she has a resting heart rate of just 28 beats, “lower than Lance Armstrong’s at his peak fitness,” she likes to point out.
Betty knows she’s an anomaly among her peers and plans to parlay that into a book and a program called “Runtoahundred.” I know that when that book comes out, I’ll be first in line to buy it. Like I said, when I grow up, I want to be like Betty!