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Oldtimers keep coming back for run/walk
master_jim2008 | July 4, 2008 at 01:51 pmby
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Oldtimers keep coming back for run/walk
By Photo by Steve Gerace Gene Moyer, left, and Harry Daniell enjoy a laugh before climbing the Castle Street stage stairs to be recognized for their top finishes in the 2007 Mount Shasta 4th of July five mile race. // _GA_googleAdEngine.createDOMIframe('google_ads_div_global_global_300x250' ,'global_global_300x250'); By Reggie Stiteler Mount Shasta Area Newspapers Thu Jul 03, 2008, 11:58 AM PDT
Story Tools: Email This | Print This Mount Shasta, Calif. - In its 29th year of existence, the Mount Shasta Fourth of July Run/Walk continues to attract all types of people. But in particular, the event has brought out many loyal, battle-tested seniors who have no intention of hanging up their running shoes anytime soon. “I probably started in the late 1970s,” said Harry Daniell, a 79-year old doctor from Redding. “I haven’t done them all, but I’ve ran an awful lot of them.” “I started running in the event around 1983 or ’84, and I haven’t missed many since,” said the 81-year young athlete Bob Malain of Redding. Respect your elders, indeed. “I’m going to guess, but I’ve probably participated about 20 times since 1982,” Mount Shasta resident Gene Moyer said. “I signed up for the five mile this year, but I might do the two.” Daniell, Malain and Moyer, along with many of their senior peers, plan to participate in this Friday’s event. In fact, Moyer said he was off to the high school track Tuesday of last week after the interview to gauge what his 79-year old motor can handle this week. As with Daniell and Malain, running is part of Moyer’s lifestyle. So what brings these oldtimers back, not only to the event, but to the streets sweating it out well beyond the point many ever could have expected them to? “As you get older, you like to have some runs you do every year,” Daniell said. “Plus, I like to document things – even if it doesn’t do my self-image any good – and compete against others my age.” “This is going to be a good year for me,” Daniell continued with a laugh. “Malain is substantially faster than me and he’s moving up a division.” “I’m not that unusual,” Malain said. “There are quite a few of us who still compete.” He doesn’t have to look far for competition in the 80+ division, as his wife Mary also is planning on running the five mile. Birds of a feather... “I’m just sort of an exercise addict,” Bob said, adding that he continues to ski, climb and bicycle. “That guy is phenomenal,” Moyer said of Malain. “He’s discouraging for a guy like me (laughs). I don’t like that competition.” Moyer does enjoy competing and has earned a bit of respect over the years. “He ages like a bottle of wine,” race organizer Jim Parker said of the Mount Shasta resident. Says Moyer, “I don’t know because I drink wine before it ages.” Okay, of all the races out there, what is it about this race? “The competitiveness, the colorfulness,” Malain explains. “In Northern California this is probably the most colorful race. It’s just an unusual event – and I’ve been running up and down the coast (for years).” “I recognized that it was a special event,” Daniell said. “The beauty of the whole Strawberry Valley is nice, the temperatures are cooler and being the national holiday, it’s fun to see the entertainment. The people running it really enjoy it and it’s a unique combo with the parade after it.” “It’s a good community thing,” Moyer said. “Dr. Parker has done more for Mount Shasta than any individual that I’m familiar with.” “Dr. Parker puts on a great show,” Malain said. “It’s probably the best attended race north of Sacramento.” Sensing a theme? “Jim Parker is such a cornerstone,” Daniell said. “We’re hoping he’s back from his leg injury and well enough to get his Nikes on pretty soon.” So how much longer can they keep this up? “Whether I do the five mile or not,” Moyer said, “I want to run next year for sure.” “Five years ago I never would have guessed I would still be running today,” Malain said. “Who knows?” Daniell said. “Every day is a gift... There are people who still run marathons in their late 80s.” Hint, hint.