Academia to sprint races runner finds late-in-life passion
Seventy-eight-year-old Ellin Grossman was an associate professor of fine arts and art education and former associate dean for the School of Human Sciences and Humanities, but now she's found a new passion: running.
Grossman began teaching in 1974 and retired in 1999. In 2007, it occurred to her that she was getting out of shape and decided to become more active. She began strength training and walking with personal trainer David Segal, a British 1960 bronze medalist and world-class sprinter. After a year, Segal suggested that she try running.
Since then, Grossman has run many races and earned several ribbons.
“I am now challenged by meters – the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash,” said Grossman in the press release. “Sprinting is not simply running fast, it’s an entirely new gear.”
She ran nine 5K races between March and November of 2010 and was listed as one of the 10 fastest women in her division in Texas Runner and Triathlete magazine. She also won the Gold Phidippides Award for completing 17 sanctioned 5K races.
“I am grateful and thankful that I can run, and do the very hard training that it requires,” said Grossman in the press release. “I appreciate my health and fitness far more than I did as a younger woman when I took my health for granted.”
Grossman is currently sprint training for track races.
“The sprint start is a challenge,” Grossman said in the press release. “Starting from just behind the start line, the runner rests her upper body on spread-out hands, one forward knee and one trailing knee. Start too soon – and you are eliminated! Start too late – you have lost the race! The times I am chasing are the All-American Standards of Excellence in Track and Field – Women.”
In order to meet time standards, she will need to run the 100-meter sprint in 22 seconds; the 200-meter in 48 seconds; the 400-meter in 98 seconds; the 800 in 4 minutes, 30 seconds; and the mile in 9 minutes, 40 seconds.
“I do not know if it will take me one year, two years or more to meet at least one of these standards,” Grossman added in the press release. “I will find out! I can’t say why I like it – but I do. I feel strong and independent and enjoy being part of the world of running.”
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