Still sprinting: 96-year-old runner smashes 2018 record
Published Saturday, June 22, 2019 1:49PM CST
A 96-year-old sprinter from Winnipeg may now be a world record holder.
Lou Billinkoff said he noticed last year’s fastest time for the 50-metre sprint in his age class was 16.81 seconds and thought “I could easily beat that.” So he reached out to Sport Manitoba about running the 50-metre dash, which he notes is not a popular event for the 95 and over age class.
On Saturday Billinkoff’s ambitions paid off and he completed the sprint in 15.68 seconds.
“It’s something that I’ve been looking forward to for about two months when I set my heart on it and I finally did it so I accomplished what I had in mind,” said Billinkoff.
Billinkoff’s family said it’s difficult to confirm this information, but believe the sprinter now has the fastest time for the 50-metre dash in the 95+ age group for 2019.
In June 2018, Billinkoff beat a Canadian running record for his age group after sprinting 100 metres in just over 29 seconds. He said shortly after someone beat his time and he ended up second for the year.
He said he doesn’t plan on going for the 100-metre record for a second time.
“I can’t do it anymore,” he said.
CTV News previously reported that Lou took up running after a heart attack at the age of 89. Lou was walking on the track at the Reh-Fit Centre, where he went for rehab, and decided to try his hand at running.
Billinkoff said he now runs at Reh-Fit three times a week and that it’s a wonderful experience.
“I’ve got so many friends there and we have a lot of fun,” he said.