Cape Town’s Two Oceans Race is fast approaching and one contender is set to break the age barrier in spectacular fashion.
Deirdre Larkin may be 85, but she is a poster child for health and positivity.
A former concert pianist, Larkin started running after she was diagnosed with osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become brittle and fragile
A latecomer to running she completed her first race in 2010 when she was 78, and since then changed her lifestyle.
“Looking back I am a great believer in exercise. In the last 7 years my life has changed dramatically. In 2010 I tried to run and gradually I got better and better and now I have a kind of routine which i started about a year ago, I get up about 5,30am I do my exercises to 6.15am and then I go out for 1 hour run about 8 to 9 kms. I thought I will try running and I just ran, walked a little and did that for month and then I saw Randburg harriers was having a race and I thought that is a fun thing, and Richard came with me and we ran and i thought this is rather fun.” Said Deirdre Larkin, Runner
Larkin runs four days a week and has left her mark on the South African running scene, setting several world records and inspiring many along the way
“I am so happy when I think that I can influence people get up and move or do something not necessary walking or running but this old age sitting, if you don’t use your muscles you lose them.” Said Deirdre Larkin, Runner
“For me this has certainly been an inspiration and a very positive experience for me because she is living proof that you can become what you want to become and that a healthy life style has many benefits.
It certainly motivates me and people i work with and her friends also to try harder and to know life is worth living and life actually is what you make of it.” Said Katherine Larkin, Larkin’s daughter
“she’s always been kind of a super hero she’s always been an over performer, What makes my mother strong, it’s not really about the body it’s about the will and my mum just wants to do it, and she is like a pull terrier she sticks to it and your body does what the mind tells it too.” Said Richard Larkin, Larkin’s son
At 85 this running Granny shows no sign of slowing down and is preparing for the Two Oceans half marathon.
“I came 2nd in the 70’s category twice and this will be by sixth one, last year I was fourth so i am hoping I should be third this year I am just going to try so hard to be third but people come from overseas and there are so many superb runners I have my doubts but I will try.” Said Deirdre Larkin, Runner
Already at 30 races this year alone Deirdre Larkin has kept her osteoporosis under control and switched medication pills for trainers.
And she’s hoping to bring back another shinny Two Oceans half marathon medal to her collection.