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A 'How To' Lesson From A Geezer Jock: Go For It

December 17, 2022 3 min read 13 Comments

A 'How To' Lesson From A Geezer Jock: Go For It

Photo By Rob Jerome.

 

By Ray Glier

Lynne Hurrell has ricocheted from backpacking to ballroom dance instructor to fencing to cross country skiing to sled dog racing. Then she ran six marathons. After that it was 5Ks. She is good on her feet, as you might have guessed.

She’s 88 now.

And still pretty darned good on her feet.

Lynne is closing the outdoor track & field season with the third-best time in the world (W85-89) in the 400 meters (2:10.28), the second-best time in the world in the 800 (5:12.45), and ranked third in the 1500, all according to certified times at www.mastersrankings.com.

Lynne took gold medals in the 400, 800 and 1500 and javelin at the 2022 World Masters Athletics meet in Finland when she was the only person entered in the events. While there were no other competitors in the events, she faced much stiffer competition than any human could offer: mortality. It is no exaggeration to say most of us will be overjoyed to be upright and running at 88.

We should also be impressed by Lynne’s lifelong willingness not just to stick a big toe into cold water, but to jump in with both feet when something new comes along. It must have been hard to out-dare a younger Lynne Hurrell, whose cognitive development surely leaned toward “play.”

“When something comes along, you shouldn’t feel limited and say ‘I can’t do that’,” says the woman who has run behind dogs and flashed a sword. “Don’t feel limited.”

Lynne, though, felt somewhat limited with track & field when she joined the Sierra Gold track team 10 years ago.

“I never even thought I would be on a team and going to all these different events,” she said. “I didn’t think the coach would want someone like me on the team. It is a really good team and everybody expects the best from us.”

***

It is fitting that Lynne grew up in Culver City, California, home to the stars of the big screen and fantasies galore. She seems to have a sense of adventure that matched the identity of MGM Studios, whose main lot was a mile from her home.

Lynne was born in 1934 and she remembers the stagecoaches from the western flicks rolling down the streets from studio to studio. The mogul Louis Mayer had turned Culver City into the place where dreams started for countless Americans on Washington Blvd., and Overland Avenue, and Culver Blvd. Clark Gable, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire roamed there.

“I was always active, and I don’t know about the location working in that direction,” she said when asked if her adventurous spirit came from movies being made down the street.

“I took riding lessons in the 6th grade and was always playing games and galloping down the street pretending to ride my horse. We played cowboys and Indians with the boys and shooting each other with our wooden guns with rubber bands.”

Lynne’s home was on Pickford Way, across Ballona Creek from MGM, and those were the days you could romp through the streets and fields of Culver City, unrestricted by organized sports, not that there were any organized sports for girls.

“I was a tomboy,” Lynne said. Of course she was.

She has not stopped working against norms. Others might be content to walk at 88, but merely walking, not attempting to run, is for other people to do, not Lynne, not yet.

“When I go a couple of days and I haven't done some running, I feel like I'm going backwards,” Hurrell said.

Running has served a lifestyle and daily purpose, too. When her husband became ill and she became his caregiver, Lynne would go out and run 20 minutes.

“That was my relaxation and my away time,” she said. “When I would come back I was able to keep on doing it. I could think and get away from it all while running.”

She hurt her back lifting her dog out of the car, which curbed her distance running for a while. But on Thanksgiving, Lynne was back at it with a 5K Turkey Trot.

Lynne lives on five acres in Grass Valley, Ca., and she understands her limitations over the rocky, uneven landscape. She watches her step to avoid a fall, something that could incapacitate her and knock her off her precious feet.

“I run on the track,” she said. “Off the track, I pick my spots carefully.”

Lynne’s feet, after 88 years, are still her best friends. She wants to use them a while longer, which is already longer than most of us.

Lynne celebrates at The Huntsman World Senior Games.


13 Responses

Michael Lavigna
Michael Lavigna

December 24, 2022

Terrific article about a terrific person 👍🙏I am going to go work out.

Christel Donley
Christel Donley

December 24, 2022

Keep going,Lynne, admiring your running ability and spirit! You , throwing javelin, was fun to watch!

Will join the 88 group in a few weeks . Yet, I am in the same situation, being a “ part time”
caretaker for my husband , trying hard to find time and/ or energy to keep working out!
Travel is not possible at the moment!
Luckily ,we have seen the world , competed on every continent, and enjoyed friendships forever!
Will give you a big hug, if I see you again!
Still have pictures!
Stay healthy,

Christel Donley
Christel Donley

December 24, 2022

Keep going,Lynne, admiring your running ability and spirit! You , throwing javelin, was fun to watch!

Will join the 88 group in a few weeks . Yet, I am in the same situation, being a “ part time”
caretaker for my husband , trying hard to find time and/ or energy to keep working out!
Travel is not possible at the moment!
Luckily ,we have seen the world , competed on every continent, and enjoyed friendships forever!
Will give you a big hug, if I see you again!
Still have pictures!
Stay healthy,

Mykola
Mykola

December 19, 2022

Amazing story. And terrific shot of Lynne’s perfect stride. Wish she keep it for years ahead))

Gene Gilligan
Gene Gilligan

December 18, 2022

I’ve known Lynne and of Lynne for a long time. She is more than inspirational. She will always be running.

René Sprattling
René Sprattling

December 18, 2022

Lynne is the woman who inspired me to start running. I would watch her at the local meets and just be amazed. It’s her spirit that is most amazing, however. She just keeps going on those feet, (and hugging with those arms), telling her team mates “ You can do it!” She is an exceptional athlete.

Durelle Schimek
Durelle Schimek

December 18, 2022

Geezer jock… Love the name… and the game!
What a wonderful write up on Lynne.
She is an inspiration to myself and many others!
Thank you for shining the light on the people who remind us… ‘how to’

flo meiler
flo meiler

December 17, 2022

I am glad to see another 88 year old is still on the go? Hope to meet her in the future? Flo Meiler

flo meiler
flo meiler

December 17, 2022

I am glad to see another 88 year old who still is going strong. Hope to meet her in the future. Flo Meiler

drue Mathies
drue Mathies

December 17, 2022

Go, Lynne! A terrific athlete and an even better human being. We love you, partner!

Carole Stanford
Carole Stanford

December 17, 2022

I am honored to call this amazing lady my teammate.
She is an inspiration on and off the track.
She has the heart of a champion.
She has the spirit of one who is not waiting to die but lives to inspire others.
Well deserved and written article.

angela staab
angela staab

December 17, 2022

I have run with Lynne. she is a great example of sportsmanship and friendship among athletes, and how to age to the best of your abilities!

Patti Baker
Patti Baker

December 17, 2022

You caught the spirit of Lynne perfectly. She gives her all at practice as well as meets. And she loves as she lives, always greeting teammates with a big hug.

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