Elders Racing against the Clock

Article excerpt

World Masters Athletes

Racing Against the Clock, produced and directed by Bill Haney (Uncommon Productions 2004); DVD $20 plus shipping and handling, available at www.rac ingagainsttheclock.com.

About halfway through this inspiring and moving documentary, I realized that I was no longer shocked by the competitors' wrinkles and gray hair. I was as absorbed in the lives and athletic training programs of the protagonists in Racing Against the Clock as I was when I watched the classic 1977 bodybuilding film, Pumping Iron. Both films offer behind-the-scenes looks at competitors who push their bodies to the extreme. Although I admired the dedication of twentysomething guys grunting as they lifted heavy weights, seeing a 75-year-old woman competing to break the polevaulting record took my breath away.

Racing Against the Clock chronicles the efforts of five women ages 50 to 82 to qualify for the World Masters Athletics Championships in Puerto Rico in June 2003. The youngest among them, Jacqueline Board, is 50. A sharecropper's daughter and one of 13 children, Board discovers that running is an effective antidote to poverty, abuse and depression-and the key to success both in athletic competition and other areas of her life.

At age 82, Margaret Hinton inspires awe and envy among the residents in her retirement home as she sprints and jumps her way through competition after competition, refusing to grow old gracefully by simply sitting around. …