Navajo and Cheyenne beat us to it: Masters track in America

In the March issue of Running Times, Roger Robinson has a neat little history lesson on masters running. He mentions the 1930s British debut of the Veterans Athletic Club and David Pain’s emergence in the 1960s, of course. But I learned something new! “Some cultures accepted it as natural to stay active,” Roger writes. “The Navajo held races for all ages, including girls and an ‘old man’s race,’ and the Cheyenne have a story of how a 50-year-old chief called Little Wolf outraced the best young Sioux over 4 miles.” How cool! Now I wish someone would go further back in time. Did Greeks have a Geezer Olympics? Did Egyptians take time out from the pyramids to see which old guy (over 25, given longevity of the day) had the best footspeed? Go Little Wolf!

Runners (some old) from Acoma Indian tribe of New Mexico posed in 1909.

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May 24, 2014

8 Responses

  1. tb - May 24, 2014

    Didn’t they know that barefoot running does not strengthen your feet?

  2. John Stilbert - May 24, 2014

    What a great find! Thanks!

  3. Michael Daniels - May 24, 2014

    Hey tb! Too much barefoot running can damage your feet. Too much running in the wrong shoes can damage your feet too. Some barefoot running strengthens your feet. After having planter fasciitis a few times I know. Over the years I now use farefoot running up to a quarter mile in all of my sprint workouts.

  4. al cestero - May 24, 2014

    i’ve found that “flying feet ” works best for me…as long as my feet are not on the ground, they don’t hurt, or wear out.. :)

  5. Stefan WALTERMANN - May 25, 2014

    Milon of Kroton competed in seven Olympic games, starting and winning in 540 A.D in youth wrestling, then winning five times in men’s wrestling and losing to Timasitheus in 512 B.C. 
    Leonidas of Rhodes, first won the stadion, the diaulos, and the hoplitodromos at age 24 and repeated in the next three subsequent Olympics. In 152 BCE, at the age of 36, he was considered the greatest sprinter of all times.

  6. Michael Daniels - May 25, 2014

    Say Al Cestero where can I get some of those? How do you stop?

  7. al cestero - May 26, 2014

    never stop….michael …never land… :)

  8. David E. Ortman (M61), Seattle, WA - May 28, 2014

    For an extremely entertaining book on the long distance running of the Tarahumara Indians in Mexico’s Copper Canyons that will leave you exhausted and exceedingly glad you only line up for the 100m see:

    “Born to Run,” by Christopher McDougall (Vintage 2009)

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