Setting a Senior example at the Granite State Senior Games
Each one is personal, from being affected by the Boston Marathon bombing to trying to beat the odds, the runners of the Granite State Senior Games have their motivations.
Elizabeth Bunce is 73 years old, lives in Nelson and has a pair of gold medals around her neck for winning the 5k and 10k in her age bracket, Bunce’s eyes tear up as she recounts the bombing in Boston.
“I’m going back again,” she said. “My feeling is, all those people that were injured and had amputations, I’d go back for them in a heartbeat.”
Suffering from a rare liver disease, Flint had a liver transplant and his life expectancy coming out of the operation was estimated at less than a decade.
“I had the liver transplant on a Saturday and I was walking two miles nine days later,” Flint said. “I understood the record was eight days and the nurses wouldn’t let me out (that early) but I went home the ninth day. I’ve always been competitive. I never give up.”
George Tosatti, 77, is another runner who came to the sport later in life.
“I picked it up at 50. It’s more of a challenge physically now, but mentally it’s easier,” he said. “I meet all these people. They’re great people.”
“Runners are so supportive of everybody. No matter how fast you run or who you are or where you’re from. People support everyone. There’s no slow runners, just some that are faster than others,” Garrity said. “I feel great. It feels good to feel good. What you’re doing is you’re challenging yourself. Can I do this? It makes you feel better.”
Steve Horton, 57, won the 5k and 10k gold medals for the 55-59 age groups, finishing in 21:41 and 46:39. Peter Bobryk, 53, won the gold in the 5k and 10k for the 50-54 men’s category in 24:08 and 49:54.
Dwight Barclay, 64, won the silver medal in the 60-64 bracket in 30:29 of the 5k. Dennis Towle, 55, won silver in the 55-59 category in 21:42 for the 5k. Steven Snow, 59, won the 10k silver in 55:02 for the 55-59 bracket.
The games continue through Aug. 25. There will be a dinner at the Puritan Back Room on Friday and tickets are still available. Check nhseniorgames.org for information.
“I want to remind people that we are not just athletes but we are elderly athletes,” Bunce said. “When I was 16 (to think) ’she’s 70 years old and she’s running?’ We set an example for all those young people.”