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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Exercise, aging and humour

Who says you lose speed with age? 72-year old granny runs down a teenage hand-bag thief

No, this is not Part 3 of the series I started last week on Exercise and Aging. But, it was too good an opportunity to pass up, because it fits so well, and makes the perfect "weekend interlude".

You can read the story here. It describes how 72-year Jean Hirst of Derbyshire, England, ran down a 15-year bag thief when she tried to make off with Mrs Hirst's handbag.

In the article it describes how the thief had a head start, but Mrs Hirst says she covered 70 yards in about 15 seconds and the girl, with a look of "sheer amazement" on her face, was forced to throw the bag aside when Mrs Hirst was within two strides of her in order to escape!

A big thumbs up for Mrs Hirst for turning back the clock - she was a junior sprint champion at 17.

And I'm guessing that the 15-year old "failed" bag thief is not a prospective London 2012 runner. Thumbs down for stealing from an apparently helpless pensioner, and also for letting that head start slip!

A repeat performance - England has some sprint talent (in the over-65 category)

Amazingly enough, it turns out that this is NOT THE FIRST such occurrence in England - either England has the fastest pensioners in the world, or the slowest teenagers, because in doing a bit of research after receving the story from Jim Ferstle (thanks as always, Jim!), I found this story from October 2008:

Granny Janet Lane runs teenager to ground over snatched pension

Same situation, except Mrs Lane was 68, and the theives were boys. Incredibly, Mrs Lane ran them down despite wearing sandals. She had been a cross-country champion back in 1953, and had apparently kept herself in shape ever since!

So another thumbs up for Janet Lane! And another thumbs down for those British teenagers - lacking morals, as well as fast twitch muscle fibers!

Last word is a quote by Jean Hirst:

I didn't think of my safety, but I did pay for it a little the next day. I was covered in aches and pains and my daughter turned to me and said it was because I didn't warm up properly.

Have a great weekend, and join me for the rest of the series on Aging next week!



Anonymous said...

I believe the difference between England and other places (if there is one) is being sticklers for principle. The constable in the Lane article advises people not to chase thieves, and this is the (perhaps craven) advice taken by most people even if they are current running champions, unless perhaps they are also MMA champions. However, some people would rather die than be taken advantage of, and I suspect that a disproportionate number of them are Englishmen/women old enough to remember England standing alone against Nazi aggression.

Seb said...

Another funny (but a bit old) story on aging ;)