Category Archives: Distance runners

Bill Hansbury – A Miracle?

Correction: When I originally posted the profile of Bill Hansbury, I was under the impression that Bill owned the “Boston Bill” sunglass company. I was recently informed that this is not the case and that Greg Chewning owns the trademark and the sunglass company that goes by that name. To avoid this  dispute, I have removed the reference to “Boston Bill”  from the post. I apologize for any inconvenience.

Bill Hansbury and his Friend Jake


The story that Hansbury has to tell is a testament to the power or being receptive to opportunities. Bill is a 72 year old cyclist and runner, who lives in Saint Petersburgh, Florida. Bill became active late in life, at the age of 28, when a friend he hadn’t seen in couple years visited him, and Bill thought he looked great. Bill asked him how he managed to look so great, and his friend told him that he had taken up running. Bill went to his bedroom, put on some sneakers and said his friend, “let’s go!” Bill stopped smoking and lost a lot of weight, and has been running regularly ever since. Bill went on to run under three hours for the marathon, run ultra-marathons, and take up cycling. A couple of years ago, Bill lost a leg to an aggressive, anti-biotic resistant infection, and he shared with me how he has begun helping others with disabilities live a better life by helping them get prosthetic limbs.
Bill has a touching story to tell and the best way to understand it, is to watch the following video. You judge if it’s a miracle.


OK, so how lazy can we get?

In general I try not to judge what others do, but I was so struck by this invention that I had to turn up the contrast on how lazy some of us have become. I can certainly understand how this system, which required significant R&D investment, would be useful for the disabled, but the suggestion of use by those with fully capable bodies strikes me as ludicrous. Check out the link below.

Brain Powered Laziness Gizmo

Scientists Unveil ‘Thought-Controlled’ Smart Home System
Brain-Computer Interface uses electrodes attached to the scalp to read the mind of the user to activate lights, turn channels and open doors.
06.01.2009 — Scientists in London are close to perfecting a smart home system that is controlled by the user’s thoughts.

The Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) uses electrodes attached to the scalp that allow the user to turn lights off and on, change the channel on the TV or open a door “by just thinking about it,” according to Science Daily.

g.tec, an Austrian medical engineering company, developed the (BCI) to assist the disabled. But it could have applications for the general population. g.tec teamed with several international universities to test the BCI technology in a smart home created in virtual reality.

“[The virtual smart home] has a kitchen, bathroom, living room … everything a normal home would have,” says g.tec CEO Christoph Guger. “People are able to move through [the virtual smart home] just by thinking about where they wanted to go.”

Let me now contrast that to the typical workouts done by some of the 50 athletes over 50 that I interviewed for my upcoming book “50 Athletes Over 50 Teach Us How to Live a Strong, Healthy Life.”  You can become a facebook fan at

Sandy Scott


Sandy Scott (69 years young):

Monday        73.35 miles – moderate

Tuesday        35.6 easy spin ride, afternoon:  weight training: chest, shoulders, triceps, abdominals

Wednesday    35.04 miles – interval training – half mile repeats at maximum effort

Thursday        76.45 miles at a comfortable pace

Friday            35.28 miles – easy spin ride, Afternoon: weight training:  back & biceps

Saturday        76.19 Very fast group ride

Sunday            32.92 Easy recovery ride

Total mileage for the week:    368.83


Jane Welzel (4rth from Left) and Friends


Jane Welzel (54):

Monday:  easy 30 minute run

Tuesday: morning 3-4 miles, pm track workout (see attachment)

Wednesday:  7-8 mile run

Thursday:  7-8 mile run

Friday: trail run, 8-10 mile run

Saturday: 6-8 mile run

Sunday: 12-15 miles on trails


Who do you want to be in the new decade?

Happy New Decade!

Murray Honick – Previous 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge Contest Winner

Murray Honeck Running

In September, 2009 I held a drawing for people who joined the 50-k Active Challenge, which is an outgrowth from my work on my book on athletes over 50, and had prizes of a copy of my book, a 50-k “Active Life” T-shirt, and an interview with me. Murray Honick was the lucky winner of the drawing, and the following is what I learned about Murray from our interview.

Murray, who is 55, is a psychiatrist and lives in Murrelles Inlet, South Carolina, and often recommends exercise or physical activities to his patients to help them deal with depression or other disorders. Murray is a strong believer in the transformative power of an active life.

When Murray was younger and in medical school, he participated in volleyball and tennis, but it was a self-described mid-life crisis that kicked Murray’s active life into full gear. He decided that he didn’t want a corvette and couldn’t afford an affair, so he decided to start running! Murray started by running a 10K, and six years later, now has the fantastic goal of running 50 marathons in 50 states.

His goal: 50 marathons in 50 states

His plan: One marathon a month as his schedule allows; has a 17 week training plan and follows it.

How he remains accountable: he has regular partners and runs local races with them

Murray discovered the 50-k Active Challenge through a facebeook running group and told me that he will promote it with his local running club, because he is such a strong believer in the transformative power of an active life.

You can be the next contest winner, where you can win $300 or an iPod, by submitting a photo to the “Active Life” photo contest. The contest closes on December 17th, 2009, so don’t delay. Find out more details at:

Check out the interesting story about the link between exercise and longevity at

Sid Howard – If you don’t hold your head up so high in victory, you won’t have to hold your head down so low in defeat

The following is a brief profile of one of the athletes I interviewed for my upcoming book, “Lessons for a Strong, Healthy Life from 50 Athletes Over 50; Dream It, Live It, Love It.” To see future posts, subscribe on this page.

Sid running the World Master's Championship 1500 meter








Sid Howard is a 70 year old track, cross-country, and road runner who lives in Plainfield, New Jersey. Sid was a talented runner from the start, and excelled in high school track and cross-country until the 11th grade. Sid told me that he also excelled at being the class clown, which led to his not making the grades he needed to stay on the team. He rediscovered running at age 39, when his son told him about a masters mile race being held at a nearby school. Sid was shocked that they had races for people who were done with school, but signed up. He’s been racing ever since and recently won the gold medal for the 1500 meter event at the World Masters Championships in Lahti, Finland.

This week, I’m enjoying a much-needed break from work and visiting my family in my home town, Scotia, New York. Time to reconnect with family and old friends, and remember my roots. It is a great feeling and brings back tons of great memories and emotions. I hope everyone is taking stock this week in all we have to be thankful for.

I’m very excited to see photo contest entries start rolling in for the 50-k Active-Life T-shirt contest. Don’t delay getting your shirt and submitting your photo, the December 17th deadline for voting will be here before you know it! I’m sure $300 or an iPod would come in handy in time for the holidays.

I’ve had a lot of compliments on my last post about being over the hill. I’m glad people have enjoyed it!

Loretta Claiborne – Loves to run, and ski, and skate, and bowl …

The following is  brief profile of one of the athletes I interviewed. To receive email with future athlete profiles, subscribe on this page.
Loretta Claiborne, Champion
Loretta Claiborne, Champion

Loretta Claiborne is a 56 year old runner and Special Olympian who lives in York, Pennsylvania. Loretta, who discovered running when she was 12 years old through her older brother who was a great high school athlete, also participates in ice skating, bowling, tennis, snow skiing, basketball, and golf. Loretta discovered Special Olympics when someone in a workshop at her school noticed her running rather than taking the bus to school. That event opened up a world for Loretta that led to a lifelong love of sports, which includes running 26 marathons, one being the Boston Marathon. Loretta loves to run, and has incorporated running into her daily life, even using it for transportation around town. Loretta is currently trying to become a better tennis player, and continues to be an ambassador for Special Olympics.

Like Loretta, several of the athletes I interviewed have made it part of their life’s work to give back and help others to live a more active life. In my upcoming book I plan on having a chapter devoted to the topic of giving back.

The event on 10/24 in Fort Collins, Colorado to celebrate my first book and launch the 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge was a huge success.  When I get some photos back from the event, I will post more about it. I appreciate everyone’s continued support in this project and I’m very optimistic about where it is going. Dream BIG!