The Silver Strider magazine’s highest honor is “Silver Strider of the Year”. We have given this award to the Silver Strider who personifies sportsmanship, inspiration, camaraderie, and willingness to serve others. Participation in Silver Strider programs is not a requirement, but is certainly a consideration. This recognition began in 2015 and has continued each year.
This award can only be attained one time. Here are the honorees.
Sandra Madden completed all 29 races in the 2014-15 Grand Prix Series. This was the first time anyone had accomplished this feat. Sandra was awarded a special glass trophy in recognition of her dedication to the Series. It was announced that anyone duplicating this feat in the future would also receive a special trophy. It would be called the Sandra Madden Award. Here are the Sandra Madden award winners.
The Silver Strider 5k State Championship offers the top runners in each age group, in the State of Washington, a chance to compete head to head, on the same course, under the same conditions. The Silver Strider Championship race for 2020 was canceled.
This category was originally titled “Runner of the Year”. Our first winners of Runner Of The Year honors in 2013 were Judy Fisher and Bill Iffrig. Both posted world class times at all distances. In 2014 the winners were Judy Fisher and Joe Sheeran. Again in 2015, Judy and Joe won again. At this point we realized that Judy Fisher and Joe Sheeran were going to win every year. We felt we should widen the award to include more top runners. We decided to replace Runner of the Year with the Super Athlete award. We also decided to abandon plaques in favor of a more unique award, the Super Athlete Ring. To gain Super Athlete status and a ring, athletes must be ranked in the TOP IO at all four distances at the end of the year.
Should you retire at 80? Here are Washington runners who answered “No”.
Washington’s All Time TOP IO Silver Striders 5k Distance on a Certified Course Excluded: Independence Day Race excluded (Downhill) Washington State Sr. Games (Integrity Issues)
All time WA 5k Top 10 for Men 80-84
1. Bill Iffrig Fremont 5k 24:25 2. Bart Haggin Spokane 27:55 3. Mark Stocklager Kent 5k 28:08 4. Richard Olafson Kent 5k 28:21 5. Rudy Gahler Tesoro 5k 28:40 6. Keith Wood FSRC Reso 5k 28:54 7. Peter Marshall Fowl Run 29:12 8. Jerry Dietrich Duvall 5k 29:48 9. George Murray Bank to Bay 29:58 10. Dallas Wylie Fowl Run 31:07
All time WA 5k Top 10 for Men 85-89
1. Rudy Gahler Tesoro 5k 29:44 2. Keith Wood Fall City 31:54 3. William Weertman 86 35:06 4. Alberto Perez 35:24 5. George Murray Xmas Rush 38:26 6. Anders Jacobsen 38:49 7. Jerry Dietrich Art Dash 5k 40:50 8. Walter Bender 85 41:24 9. Lester Bradford Fowl Run 44:52 10. Al Rousseau 45:38
All time WA 5k Top IO for Men 90-94
1. Frank Danes 91 FSRC Reso 45:41 2. Rudy Gahler 90 Art Dash 5k 46:32 3. Roman King 49:40 4. John Cahill 50:51 5. Simy Magaway FSRC Reso 53:46 6. George Murray Kent 5k 53:51 7. Herman Diers Tac Turkey 58:40 8. Frank Hidaka 69:40
Congratulations to Rudy Gahler and George Murray for making all three lists. Will we be adding a 95-99 list in the future?
Rudy Gahler is the only 85 year old runner to break 30 minutes.
An amazing performance by Keith Wood is his 4:18:36 marathon at 80.
Frank Danes record breaking 45:41 edges Gahler for the top spot in M90-94
One of the most exciting chapters in Silver Strider history was the formation of TeamSilver. The Rhody Run in Port Townsend was a challenging 12k and part of the Grand Prix Series schedule. It was a favorite among many of the Series participants. The race sponsor, Jefferson Health Care offered “The Jefferson Cup” as a prize for team competition.
Before 2015, the Jefferson Health Care team had won the cup every year. That year however the Silver Striders decided to field a team comprised of some of the top runners in the state.
Some of the team members had been doing the Rhody Run for many years and were familiar with the difficulties presented by the big hills and the May heat. Chloe Parr and Jerry Dietrich declared this race their all time favorite. Dave Anderson, Nora Collings and Judy Fisher had done the race numerous times. Additionally, three of the team members held course records.
Judy Fisher held the course record for Women 65-69. Judy Fisher also held the course record for Women 70-74. Chloe Parr held the course record for Women 80-84 and possessed 4 Gold, 4 Silver and 2 Bronze medals from past efforts. Jerry Dietrich held the course record for Men 80-84 and possessed 2 Gold medals.
The team looked very strong on paper although someone remarked that having 13 runners on the team was bad luck. The five highest finishers would determine our points.
When the race was over, the team had won 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 2 Bronze to win the Jefferson Cup by a wide margin over the defending champions.
When the Silver Striders were announced as the winners, cheers broke out and hugs were shared by the team members.
In 2016 so many Silver Striders joined the team that we decided to enter two teams. A Men’s and a Woman’s.
Once again Silver Striders overwhelmed the competition finishing 1st and 2nd. This win was met with a little less enthusiasm because it was expected.
Jefferson Health Care decided to retire the cup to the Silver Striders ending the team competition marking the finish of a brief but exciting Silver Strider foray into team competition.
Historically, The Battle Of The Boomers was the most popular Silver Strider event among top athletes over 50. This was probably due to the generous prize money and the prestige of being recognized as a top athlete. The top six ranked runners in each age group were invited to participate in this competition which spanned three years.
The brainchild of Dennis Zaborac, the race sponsor, the Boomer Races were an immediate success. Each age group battle was incorporated into a popular existing race over a period of two years. The “Final Battle” included all previous entrants who competed on an age graded basis.
After nearly two years to the date, on July 15, 2017, the final “Battle of the Boomer’s” race returned to the course where the series originally started, the Kent Cornucopia 5k. Under a warm and sunny day, fifty-two Boomer’s lined up to compete for the title of “Best of the Boomers” in an age-graded competition for money and trophies.
At age 68, I was pretty much in the middle of the Boomer’s demographics, where the youngest runner was 50 year’s old and the oldest competitor was 88 year’s old. I had no delusion of winning it all. Like most of the runners, I was out to run my best, maybe taking down one or two in my age group, and hoping to land in one of the lucky spots paying $100.
At the start line, a small group of the fastest “ purple shirts” formed near the front. The rest were scattered further back among all the other runners. I slipped into the middle of the pack, thinking those in front of me would pull me along, while those behind me would push me forward. That, of course, didn’t happen. The ones ahead of me took off, and the ones behind me trampled me.
In an age-graded competition, it is impossible to know from your position in the race who is actually winning. It comes down to how far ahead of you is that 50-year-old kid. And how close behind you is that 80-year-old man. You are basically left to running against yourself. You push yourself to the limit and hope for the best. Still, that competitor in you will never go away.
While running, I still found myself trying to guess the age of any “purple shirt’ near me. When I passed someone, I took a good look to see if they were younger than me, and when someone passed me, my confidence would drop if they looked older than me.
All along the course, Boomers were passing each other. To spectators along the course, it must have seemed like the purple wave of a UW football game. Only, no one was passing footballs.
Trying to keep track of 52 runners while you are running in a regular race is a challenging task. Trying to keep track of 52 runners in an age-graded race is an impossible task. Like all the other runners in the Boomer race, when I crossed the finish line I had no idea of who had won or how I had fared. All I knew was that It would take awhile to calculate who had the best age-graded time and determine a winner.
However, as I looked around at my Boomer competitors, and saw the health they had, the camaraderie they shared, and the smiles on their faces, I immediately knew who had won.
We had all won.
We were winners long before we even stepped up to the start line of the Cornucopia 5K. We had the credentials to prove it. We had the purple shirts. We were the best in our age groups, and by some means, through the decades, had found a way to outrun “father time” and remain active and healthy well into our senior years.
In age graded, any age can win money.
1st Joe Sheeran 59, 17:29 $500 + Trophy
2nd Jane Treleven 68, 22:51 $300 + Trophy
3rd Patricia Warner 71, 23:49 $200 + Trophy
10th John O’Hearn 55, 18:18 $100
20th Keith Lerew 59, 19:51 $100
30th Dave Sherman 63, 21:39 $100
40th Louise Mihay 76, 32:57 $100
50th Chloe Parr 88, 53:24 $100
2nd to last Jerry Dietrich 83, 41:09 $ 50
The Agony and the Ecstasy
****Note from the sponsor****
I want to thank all of you for participating in the Boomer series, and I want to thank Betty and Jerry Dietrich and the Silver Striders for making it happen. My intent was to bring the best of the best together and put a face to the names on the Top Ten Lists. In so doing, I believe we have brought the state’s running community a little closer together.
I hope to see you all at the start lines of races for years to come.
One year later the competitors returned for the “Final Battle Part 2”.
TxxxxThe Results Of The Final Battle of the Boomers – Part II
July 14, 2018 – Kent, WA
After three years of competition, Jane Treleven, age 69, has emerged as the Battle of the Boomers Champion. Jane got up from a sickbed to compete in the first Final Battle. This time she was in top form.
Her World Class age graded score of 92.7 was by far the dominate performance of the entire Series.
Here are the results showing the winners. The performances were amazing. The age group winners crowned State Champions at the Cornucopia 5k were true champions of their age divisions.
The Battle of the Boomers series was the created and funded by Dennis Zaborac, a true patron of the running world.
Boomers Final Battle Part II Winners on July 14, 2018
XXX XXX Here is tHere is the final wrap-up for the Battle of the Boomers 2015-18
The total prize money won In all Boomer Races was as follows:
1. Jane Treleven$700 2. Joe Sheeran $500 3. Carol Sexton $340 4. Louise Mihay $310 5. Pat Warner $200 5. Mark Billett $200 5. John OHearn $200 8. Ed Heckard $150 9. Dave Sherman $130 10. Keith Lerew $120 11. Judy Fisher $100 11. Regina Joyce $100 11. David Crawford $100 11. Chloe Parr $100 11. Kristen Mossman $100 11. Richard Olafson $100 11. Arne Hales $100 11. Bryan Sepal $100 11. Barb Bumann $100 11. Larry Glenn $100 22. Jerry Dietrich $80 23. William Waters $70 24. 13 Runners $50 25. 11 Runners $40 26. 10 Runners $30 27. 9 Runners $20 28. 7 Runners $10 _________ Total Prize Money $5,640
Top Battle of the Boomers performances age graded
Red = WORLD CLASS Blue = NATIONAL CLASS
Jane Treleven 92.70 Joe Sheeran 90.57 Pat Warner 89.83 Judy Fisher 89.57 Mark Billett 87.58 Carol Sexton 86.70 Gail Hall 86.17 Regina Joyce 85.38 David White-Espin 85.23 Lisa Knoblich 84.90 David Longmuir 83.85 John OHearn 83.80 Carol Grisso 83.63 Kristen Mossman 83.52 David Crawford 82.83 Donna Jackson 82.34 Becky Backstrom 82.31 Kent Sizer 81.06 Denis Villeneuve 80.60 Doug Beyerlein 80.04
X x x x x x x x x x x x x
Carol Sexton receives 2nd place Championship trophy and Most Improved trophy from Dennis Zaborac