I don’t know Ed very well. In fact, the only time I have seen him in action was in the 2011 Toronto Island 10k race. I was cheering for my friends coming in after me and suddenly, out of the blue came this white ghost streaming down the finisher’s chute wearing what look like a pair of 30 year old sneakers. He was totally out of place because he was competing against men and women half his age! It gave me pause for a second. Was he running a 5k because he had way to much spring in those legs! He piqued my curiosity, but at the time, I was too shy to go up to him and introduce myself.
So like any runner with some spare time, I did some internet sleuthing and was enthralled by what I had discovered. His extensive running credentials include one of the most impressive performance ever by a master athlete: a 2:54 marathon at the ripe age of 73. Truly a remarkable achievement. Any serious marathoner would know how difficult it is to run under 3 hours, let alone at his age.
Ed did not run for accolades, sponsorships, fame, notoriety or anything for that matter. He just want to test himself over the marathon distance and be the best that he can be. He said so himself and his actions spoke louder than words. He kept things simple: Just Run. He inspired others through his actions, and proved that age really is just a number. There’s a sense of freedom knowing that you can be whoever you want to become in this life at any age.
At 40yrs young, I think about my own life. Many would consider someone my age a “Finished Product”, for I could no longer change the trajectory that I had set forth for myself. As they say, “The ship have sailed”. Ed have unknowingly inspired me to go outside my comfort zone and achieve my own personal greatness.
To this end, I have organized a collective team effort from Team Perfect Stride to run 86km on Sunday, March 26th to pay tribute to Mr. Whitlock.
Keep on Running Ed!