John Hurd is told someone called him the Usain Bolt of the Senior Games because every time he runs a race he seems to prevail much the way the famed Olympic sprinter does.
Maybe the comparison does end at their love for sprinting but Hurd, who laughs at the comparison, has quite a resume, winning more than 100 gold medals in his career, which began just 23 years ago.
As he heads toward his 85th birthday – he’ll say goodbye to 84 in October – and reflects on what he has accomplished up to this point, he admits he is taken aback a bit.
“It surprises me,” Hurd said. “I used to think if I could just get in the top three in state, I will have accomplished something. I’ve done that. I’ve gone beyond what I’ve hoped to accomplish.”
Hurd came out of nowhere really when you consider his story. He wasn’t a star sprinter in high school or college, avoiding competing as a runner because he was too underdeveloped.
“I weighed 92 pounds as a sophomore in high school,” Hurd said. “My legs were real short so I didn’t compete in track. But I always fancied myself as a sprinter if I had been bigger.”
He was inspired to give it a shot while at a seminar in Tennessee in 1992. He heard a story about an Olympic sprinter who overcame physical challenges to win a gold medal. Hurd was 60 years old at the time but thought maybe, just maybe, being a sprinter at his age was possible.
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