/ Who is the fittest 50 year old on the planet?

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Minneconjou Sioux - on 24 Feb 2013

And I'm talking about physical fitness not looks.

This question comes from something Lance Armstrong said a little bit before he was outted and while he was still under investigation. He was aiming for triathlon races at the time. It was something along the lines of "I just want to concentrate on becoming the fittest 40yr old on the planet".

And it got me thinking that this wasn't a bad thing to aspire to. So clearly I'm thinking sans drugs here but I'm sure someone will miss this and bring it up.

I'm 49 so my aspirations would be to be the fittest 50 yr old. In truth I know I am a very long way off but if I was to go for this what or who would be the target?

Clearly again this is hugely subjective but that in itself is part of the challenge. Is sprint fit the same as marathon fit? Is swimming fit the same as cycling fit?

So what are your thoughts?
Timmd on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

Does recovery from activity and breathing ability come into it too?

I know of a smoker who is 'very fit' when it comes to walking because his job involves walking upto the top of Kinder in The Peak District a lot, but I don't know how fit or healthy he is internally.
Voltemands - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: One of the 2XU athletes recently beat the current 10km 50 yo + world record, I think coming in at at about 29 minutes. I'll have a look for the info when I'm at a CPU tomorrow and post if I have any luck. Think his name was mike something.... (don't hold me too exact time)
Minneconjou Sioux - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to Minneconjou Sioux)
>
> Does recovery from activity and breathing ability come into it too?
>
>

I'm not sure I know what comes into it. How is "fitness" measured?

I think the top contenders will likely come from one of the more endurance based activities as these sports tend to attract older athletes.
Daithi O Murchu - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

Dana Delany over 50 very very fit
Minneconjou Sioux - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Daithi O Murchu:

Jeeze, it didn't take long did it?

The next thing you'll say is something along the lines of "it depends on the drugs"

Pero - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: If you're nearly 50, you could try being fit for nothing!
Minneconjou Sioux - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Pero:

True, but not really that much of a challenge ;-)
ali k on 24 Feb 2013
Not really a contender for fittest on the planet I guess but climbing-wise I watched the legendary J.B. Tribout onsight an 8a+ sport route this afternoon. At 51 that's pretty good going and maybe something to aim for?!

Or Edu Marin's Dad - 8b+ at 60! http://www.vimeo.com/51155608
Minneconjou Sioux - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to ali k:

or Stevie Haston?
Minneconjou Sioux - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

Seems there are some answers here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/inspirational-athletes-older-athletes_n_1710852.html#slide=...

Although this list goes beyond the 50's and includes some less aerobic sports.
Damo on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

If you spend a bit of time in the adventure racing world you will find some ridiculously fit 50+ people. A decade or two ago some of these events/sports did not exist, certainly not with current participant numbers, so there are social, logistical, financial issues that affect any such study. People no longer just stop being active at 30 when they have kids, get a mortgage etc. It used to be just ex-athletes in the Masters category, but now it's much more widespread.

But this is a climbing site. Excluding older guided clients on commercially set up trade routes, think of:
- Last year's Piolet d'Or was (with others) won by Steve Swenson and Mark Richey, both alpinists over 50 who still climb hard, both high and technical.
- Marty Schmidt is around 53 and has climbed several 8000m peaks in fast times without oxygen in recent years. He runs a sub 3hr marathon and recently climbed a new route on Denali.
- Carlos Soria is over 70 and still climbs 8000m peaks, but normal routes with Sherpa support teams.
- And yes, I've no doubt Stevie Haston is still fitter and better than most 30 year old climbers.
I like climbing - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:
I'd love to see this celebrated in the national media and hopefully it will be one day along with the physical feats of older people.
Minneconjou Sioux - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Damo:

I agree with what you have said. But if you aspired to be "the fittest 50 yr old on the planet" what would be your criteria for claiming that prize?

I realise this is an impossible question to answer but I still think it is a worthy target provided it is possible to narrow the field.
ice.solo - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

you are all wrong.

google 'yannis kourous'.
Minneconjou Sioux - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to ice.solo:

Yep. He looks like a contender ;-)
LaMentalist on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

I think this man could run most 50 year old peeps ragged ;

http://prostunts.net/?page_id=160

quite a good general very rough assessment to be used for a guide to progression here if you scroll down too

http://www.ozonefit.co.uk/fitness-assessment/

Best of luck with it too ! Am thinking of getting into similar very soon as I've let my fitness slide a lot over the last decade . 80(

mockerkin on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

>> Well, it's not going to be you because even with all your protestations
about how fit you are:-
"Dounrey isn't a good example though. Its being de-commissioned (has been for years) and the contamination was a result of management practices which were wrong and unlikely to be repeated.

Moreover, I've surfed Reay beach many times and I'm still here to tell the tale."
you are so contaminated that you had to leg it to Canada's clean surfing to stay alive
JayPee630 - on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to mockerkin:

Define fit first I think...
mockerkin on 25 Feb 2013
In reply to JayPee630:
> (In reply to mockerkin)
>
> Define fit first I think...

>> Not having your body saturated with nuclear waste like our Canadian based friend who surfed by Dounrey. He thinks he's fit now but his body is degenerating faster than most of you. He may still be very fit at fifty but he's melting. Like me, I was born near a nuclear fall out place.

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Voltemands - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

this is the chap I was talking about -
http://www.tri247.com/article_10934_Mike+Trees+sets+V50+10%2C000m+world+lead.html?region_id&cate...

10km just under 33 in just under 33 minutes...i'd be happy with just under 40 minutes and I'm in my twenties.
Frank4short - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: I would imagine in answer to the OPs question it's some sort of ultra runner or endurance athelete. It's one of those areas where apparently we keep getting better at, in this case stamina, as we get older.
JayPee630 - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Frank4short:

Interesting that almost everyone seems to mean best runner when they talk about fittest. IMO fit covers a number of bases, and I'd say the fittest all round is most likely not to be a runner at all, nor a triathelte.
Enty - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to JayPee630:


I went on a training ride on Saturday with a bunch of Belgians and Dutch guys. We rode out from Torrevieja then did a circuit around Alicante airport at an avearge speed of 40/42kmh.
The group were doing jumps and sprints and I was trying to go from wheel to wheel.
One guy really stood out from the bunch and he was the only one really hurting me time after time. After about 6 consecutive jumps when I had nothing left and I was praying he wouldn't go again he sat up for a red traffic light - he was called René and he was 67!

E
GridNorth - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to JayPee630: I agree, there is general fitness and then there is specific fitness. When I was young and fit, climbing fit that is, I went up to Cloggy and Scafell a few times with a novice who was a marathon and ultra marathon runner but he could not keep up with me on the walk ins.
JohnnyW - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:
I'm 49 in a few months, and the impending 50 worries me to death. My knees are giving out on me, so my objective is to maintain a reasonable level of fitness (sort of top 25% in sportives, can keep with the vast majority of folks on the walk-in, Alpine/Scottish winter fitness kind of fit), rather than push it.
I fear decrepitude with a vengeance....... :(
GridNorth - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to JohnnyW: I'm almost 65 and this winter was the first time I have ever really noticed the pain on the walk-ins as I struggled to keep up with others who were at least 12 years younger. I am also finding that climbing indoors 3 or 4 times a week is not leading to significant improvements but rather just slowing down the atrophy. Stop worrying I climbed my hardest routers in my 50's, it was 60 that seemed like the BIG milestone.
mkean - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Enty:
Surely you should have learnt by now to lose the pride when an older cyclist tries to drop you? Elderly cyclists are a hazard on the roads, I almost had a heart attack trying to hang onto the back wheel of one a couple of years ago.

;-)
Liam M - on 26 Feb 2013
In reply to Voltemands:
> (In reply to Minneconjou Sioux)
>
> this is the chap I was talking about -
> http://www.tri247.com/article_10934_Mike+Trees+sets+V50+10%2C000m+world+lead.html?region_id&cate...
>
> 10km just under 33 in just under 33 minutes...i'd be happy with just under 40 minutes and I'm in my twenties.

Fastest 10000m but not fastest 10k for a v50. The Run Britain rankings have a v50 with a time of just over 32mins for 2012, and faster in the all time rankings. 10000m are much rarer than 10ks though, and both times are still bloody quick.
Shani - on 26 Feb 2013
Bernard Lagat is setting serious records at 38!

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/sportingscene/2013/02/will-bernard-lagat-live-forever.html

Whilst degeneration is inevitable and notwithstanding that he might be an outlier, if you train smart and allow yourself to heal, you can enjoy compressed morbidity.
Minneconjou Sioux - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to mockerkin:
> (In reply to JayPee630)
> [...]
>
> >> Not having your body saturated with nuclear waste like our Canadian based friend who surfed by Dounrey. He thinks he's fit now but his body is degenerating faster than most of you. He may still be very fit at fifty but he's melting. Like me, I was born near a nuclear fall out place.

LOL. I've got no hair either but always put it down to genetics ;-)
IainRUK - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to Voltemands)
> [...]
>
> Fastest 10000m but not fastest 10k for a v50. The Run Britain rankings have a v50 with a time of just over 32mins for 2012, and faster in the all time rankings. 10000m are much rarer than 10ks though, and both times are still bloody quick.

Thought that 31:50's 32:00 isn't too uncommon..

A vet 40 just ran 69 mins for 13.1 in the US..

A good friend is 52 and runs 1:18 for half marathons... and the moans how shit he is..
Minneconjou Sioux - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to JayPee630:
> (In reply to Frank4short)
>
> Interesting that almost everyone seems to mean best runner when they talk about fittest. IMO fit covers a number of bases, and I'd say the fittest all round is most likely not to be a runner at all, nor a triathelte.

Although I agree that this is subjective, I suspect that "fitness" in this case does fall into the ability to train or compete in an aerobic category such as running, cycling, swimming etc.

I don't think it would include weight lifters or shot putters etc.

Who remembers "Superstars" on the Beeb. This was where top stars from all different sports came together to compete in a friendly competition which included various disciplines. I think that someone caliming to be the fittest 50yr old on the planet would need to be able to compete at a high level in a number of sports but these would likely be aerobic.
JayPee630 - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

Sure, but why JUST aerobic? Surely someone that could do better overall would be *fitter* and this IMO is very unlikely to be just a specific runner/cyclist as most people seem to think.

Much more likely to be a Crossfit style competitor. I think their ten categories of cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy are a good attempt to define it well, but notice that CV is only one of them.

They discuss 'What is fit?' here a bit too http://journal.crossfit.com/2002/10/what-is-fitness-by-greg-glassm.tpl#featureArticleTitle
Wonrek - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: This lady at 48 has to be a god contender http://trailgirl.blogspot.co.uk/

Catre Corbett. I was listening to an interview with her at the weekend and this lady has excess energy!

ti_pin_man - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: fitness is always sport specific so generalisations to 'fittest 50 year old' are impossible but I'll suggest a 57 year old that still kicks: Ned Overend

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ned_Overend
JayPee630 - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man:

No it's not unless you define it as such! Surely there is a cross-disciplinary non specific fitness we could define as well as all this runner/cyclist obsession!
Motown - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: Certainly the 50+ individual who looks like he could dismember allcomers with his bare hands. And likes rabbits.
Richard Baynes - on 27 Feb 2013
Motown - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Richard Baynes: Certainly puts 'intermittent fasting' moaners to shame.
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Richard Baynes - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Will Cat: After that I wonder just how fit they will be in future, but as an achievment it talkes some beating for a 50+.
ti_pin_man - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to JayPee630: in that case you begin to narrow it to triathletes or sports that cross discipline. Who is the best 50 year old Triathlete?
Voltemands - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Liam M:
> (In reply to Voltemands)

Woops, got my facts wrong. But like you say, still bloody quick.
mrchewy - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to ti_pin_man: Not too sure about that - I watched a load of triathlete's fail after 5/7 hrs or so in my ultra last year, all I'd done for training was the welsh3000s and some tabata really and still managed the 69 miles. Triathlons are not much longer than a footy match.

I attempted the W3s every weekend in may and kept having to stop due to partners failing - only the lad who climbed Denali a month later finished it too. He also ran the OMM and had been dragging a tyre round a park every week.

My definition of fitness for me is recovery time - how quick I can get your my back after exertion. Both during HIIT and endurance events.

I'm surprised no one's mentioned Decathletes.

mrchewy - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: Dick Hoyt has to be up there - he's old, focused and needs to be seriously fit to swim towing his lad in a boat.

I'd say him.
The New NickB - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Liam M:

I saw your name in the National XC results, some fit old bastards in that one. Did you enjoy it?
wbo - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: There are some real old geezers in the national results. I saw 2 or 3 who must have done it 20 times +. Experience is worth a lot there, but still....

There's a lot of hot air about this, that and the other being tough races, but the National really is nasty, with the 9 mile course at Parly Hill being particularly difficult
The New NickB - on 27 Feb 2013
In reply to wbo:

I enjoyed it, even as someone who doesn't really like XC, thought I ran we'll for my 567th, but was hard in the mud, I was glad I had a lot of marathon training in my legs.

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