Whenever I go on a new fitness buzz, I like to look around for inspiration that will keep me motivated for just a bit longer. This almost inevitably means spending money on either books or assorted gadgets, and this time round has been no exception.

So this time the book is called “Survival of the Fittest” by Mike Stroud who most famously ran with Sir Ranulph Fiennes on his 7 marathon runs, across 7 continents in 7 days. Flipping nuts!

I haven’t finished it yet but the most inspiring story so far is of a woman called Helen Klein. This woman is truly inspirational, she is a great grandmother, well into her 80’s and her motto is “I want to wear out, not rust out”. She started running when she was 55 having had a completely non sporting life. She is now a world record holding ultra distance runner.

I have taken the excerpt from a book called “Fitter after 50“, I don’t have a copy myself but I reckon its a must for anyone feeling a bit depressed about the advancing years. I provided the link if your interested.

“In 1982, at the age of 59, she entered the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon (the epic swim, bike, and run-a-marathon competition). In 1989, now a 66-year-old grandmother of 9, she completed the Grand Slam of 100-mile mountain-trail runs (the Vermont 100, the Wasatch 100, Colorado’s Leadville 100, and the Western States 100); plus one more to grow on, the Angeles Crest 100, all in just a 16-week time period. In 1995, in her prime at 72, she ran the Marathon Des Sables, a grueling 145-mile stage race across the Sahara Desert in Morocco; then just 2 weeks later (with hardly time to catch her breath), she competed in AND finished the first annual Eco Challenge, in Utah, a 370-mile multi-sport, multi-day, race (including horseback riding, canoeing, and rock climbing — 1200-foot vertical cliffs) in which over half the competitors (most just half her age) could not complete this rugged event.”

I’d really like to know more about this woman, she seems like a marvel. I’ve seen pages on the web confirm she is still running multiple marathons back to back at the age of 82!

4 thoughts on “Inspiration

  1. Dave Hanichak

    I had the great fortune of meeting Helen in 1987. Her daughter lived in our neighborhood and told her Mom a couple living in the down the street had just run their first marathon. Helen joined us for dinner and during the few hours we spent together convinced us that running an Ultra was “easier” than a marathon.

    She must have been convincing as we signed up for the AMA Ultra-50 miler in Chicago later that year. Using her training methods we completed the Ultra. My time was
    9:45 and my wife’s about 12 hours.

    Since then I have done 30 marathons- no other Ultra’s. As I near my 60th birthday I Googled Helen and found out she is still running and that has inspired my to get ready for my 2nd Ultra. It’s time !

  2. warriorwoman Post author

    Oh thats exciting, I hope you have a great time training for it and then enjoy the finish.
    Hard to believe you could actually enjoy running two back to back marathons but maybe the scenery is great? Both of your times look very impressive to me, how do you go about training for such an event?

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