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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

You’re never too old to run

Oct 03, 2016 12:40PM ● By Melanie Wiseman

Randy Kirschbaum has accomplished many firsts later in life. Aside from graduating from Colorado Mesa University at age 40, he participated in his first triathlon at age 49, and completed his first marathon at age 51. But his list of firsts doesn’t end there.

Kirschbaum raced motocross professionally from age 17 to 23, and began running to stay in shape.

“I’m 56,” he said. “That’s hard to say because I don’t feel that old. I feel that I’m in as good of shape as I was at 20.”

At age 50, he put his fitness level to the test and gave his fellow students at the police academy quite the demonstration.

“The very first day of the academy we did fitness testing and the other cadets, ages 20 to 25, said, ‘Okay, let’s see what you’ve got, Grandpa,’” he said. “I just smoked everybody, leaving them speechless.”

Running a marathon (26.2 miles) was an item on Kirschbaum’s bucket list but he didn’t think he could run that far. That was until he competed in his first half-Ironman triathlon, consisting of a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bicycle ride and 13.1-mile run.

“I had never run that far in my life,” he said. “Not even in training.”

That’s when Kirschbaum decided he was done making excuses.

“I literally signed up a week before and did the Rim Rock Marathon over the Colorado National Monument, which is probably one of the toughest marathons in the U.S.,” he said. “I was ecstatic with my time of 4 hours 2 minutes.”

Kirschbaum was 51 when he completed the Rim Rock Marathon and he was on a roll, having just completed two other bucket list items that same month: skydiving and driving a real NASCAR vehicle.

“The marathon was off my bucket list but doing another one was still in the back of my mind,” he said. “I plan on doing the Boston Marathon with 55,000 people in 2018.”

To prepare, he recently competed in the Mt. Sneffels Marathon between Ridgway and Ouray, and he plans to run the Las Vegas Marathon in November. To him, there’s no better way to work out than to run.

“In the least amount of time, you’re going to get the best workout,” he said. “My new thing is to always have a goal to work toward or I won’t train as hard.”

Kirschbaum is a testament that you’re never too old to push yourself to reach your goals and accomplish what you might have previously thought was impossible.

“You can do anything at any age if you work up to it and put your mind to it,” he said. “The key is to surround yourself with positive people who support you and say you can.”