Posted on April 15, 2012 with tags running.
Another weekend, another running opportunity!
This was a nice, simple, fast race. The announcer was claiming (if I understood correctly) it is the fastest race around Zürich: completely flat, on an airfield (which unfortunately meant all paved road). The weather was perfect (for running), a bit cold but no problems with overheating. So I managed my fastest time ever: according to the my Garmin (which for the first time recorded a slightly longer distance than the official one), I managed to run 10.18km in 50:39, which makes it 4:58/km! For the first time, below the 5:00 mark, yay! I’ll ignore the official marking which claimed 10km in 50:57, since that “ruins” my nice result, hah!
Back to earth however… let’s see some stats about this race. Just to put it in context:
My current running speed is lower than the winner in the 70+ age category by a significant amount. Based on the graph shape, I would probably win at the 85+ category ☺.
Or to put it in a slightly different context, a cultural one. Back in my home country (Romania), a 70-year old person (especially male!) that is still able to move around well and to manage by himself is (most of the time) an exception. Of course there are many old men who are doing well, but in general old people are (usually) considered “deprecated” by this age. In comparison, in Switzerland, they are still active and are doing sport. And some of them, as you can see, doing it quite well.
The difference between these two cultures in this regard (sport) is huge. Doing sports (except playing football) is considered something unusual, and in my home town there’s a somewhat linear relation between people’s age and their weight (both are monotonically increasing). When I first came to Switzerland, I was shocked to see so many people over 50 that are fit and active. Now, every time I go back to Romania, I’m shocked to see people so many people overweight and looking more than their actual age.
I can’t help but wonder what is the cause of this disregard for health or aversion to sports. Just the fact that “it’s expected” for older people to be unhealthy? Is it somehow related to the difference in income/standard of life (I can’t see a trivial connection)? Is it to lack of education about how to live a healthy life? Or maybe it’s not a country difference, but rather the fact that I grew up in a quite small town; people in Bucharest are indeed looking more after their health than in my home town, and are therefore fitter. Who knows…
Anyway, rant over, and I’m still happy that I managed to beat my own record, thanks to a flat race and favourable weather!