PROFILE--Jan Holmquist has been running for 37 years

Her passion for running doesn’t begin to tell the full story of World and American record holder Jan Holmquist.  Still working full time at age 74 (Assistant to the President at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), her goal as an older runner is to spread the word about positive aging through running and staying active. “I pinch myself every morning that I can run and compete and be part of the most amazing running community,” says Holmquist, who lives in Burlington MA.

Started running? Why?  I started in October 1982 when I was 38. I was at a scouting event with my son and a father dared me to run a mile in under 10 minutes (we were at an outdoor track).  I accomplished the feat and was hooked. For the next 10 years I ran nearly every day in the neighborhood where I lived, but had never entered a race until the day my post-college daughter called me. Phone rings, I pick up: “Mom, do you want to run a race with me?” We ran a local 5-mile race in Boston and

RESEARCH--Impressive New Study Offers Best Evidence Yet For High-Fitness Lifestyle

As fitness increases, mortality risk decreases.
The benefit does not appear to "bottom out"
at any point. More fitness is better.
An impressive new study from the Cleveland Clinic provides the best evidence yet for a high-fitness lifestyle. It is considered more authoritative than other similar studies linking exercise and reduced mortality because it is based on actual treadmill-testing data and not questionnaires that ask, "How much do you exercise?

The study is also unique for its focus on older subjects, including those at the extreme high end of cardiovascular fitness (termed “elites”). Researchers concluded that there is no upper limit to the benefits of fitness, and that high-level fitness is particularly beneficial to those 70 and older.

The study is open-access, meaning you can read it free here:

Below, briefly summarizes several of the key points.

*** The study looked at 122,000 patients who had a treadmill stress test at the Cleveland Clinic. They were divided into five fitness groups based on their treadmill results: low, average, above average, high, and elite (above the 97.6th percentile). Subjects were followed for the next 8.4 years, with 13,637 deaths during that time.
*** Subjects in the highest (“elite”) fitness quintile had an 80 percent lower risk of mortality than those in the lowest fitness quintile.
*** Elite subjects had a 23 percent lower mortality risk than even those in the high-fit group.
*** “Importantly, there was no upper limit of benefit of increased aerobic fitness.”
*** “There was no evidence to suggest relative harm associated with extreme levels of fitness.”
*** “Achieving and maintaining very high levels of aerobic fitness may be particularly important in patients older than 70 and those with hypertension.”

PROFILE--Bruce Fordyce has won the Comrades Marathon an incredible 9 times

Bruce Fordyce, 62, is the most well-known runner in South Africa, having won that country's internationally famous Comrades Marathon (54 miles) eight years in a row and nine times overall. During that period, Fordyce could not compete internationally, due to South Africa's apartheid policies--which he actively campaigned against. Eventually, running and track and field were among the first sports to welcome participation by black South Africans.  

Career/profession? I have had a number of careers including being a full time runner for about a decade. But I was first an archaeologist specializing in early man and Bushman ( San ) rock art. I lectured and was a research officer at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, for a few years. I was then a writer for a few publications, a motivational speaker, and for 7 years I was CEO of a sports development program for disadvantaged sports people. Most recently I am CEO