Len running around Lake Tahoe, wearing the LMJS team singlet.
When I’m 64 . . .
When I look ahead to turning 40 in 2009 and wonder how much my speed and strength might decline with age, I take heart in the examples set by older runners such as Len Goldman, 64, a fixture in the Oakland and Piedmont running scene. One might never guess that this genial, avuncular man who looks like he could be Bill Gates’s older brother is fiercely fast and focused once the gun goes off. A few years back, we lined up together at an Alameda 10K, and he clocked the first mile around 6:02. By keeping him in sight, I was able to break 40 minutes, and ever since then I’ve tried to pace off Len at races.
Len, retired after 31 years with AT&T, is the president of the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders and the cross country coach at Piedmont Middle School. The Road Runners Club of America has recognized his work with running clubs and youth and in 2004 named him Male Master Runner of the Year. He and his wife, Jayme, recently became grandparents.
When I chatted with Len after the Piedmont Turkey Trot, I thought to myself: When I’m his age a quarter-century from now, I sincerely hope I can run even half as well he does. I interviewed him to find out how he defies age and injury to keep running fast and strong, and I extrapolated the following lessons from his answers. (more…)