Ike Thiessen was cheered on by the crowd as he shot for the finish line in the masters 100-metre race Sunday at McLeod Athletic Park. (Roxanne Hooper/Langley Advance)

VIDEO: 89-year-old runner celebrates Father’s Day on the track

Spectators were on their feet Sunday morning cheering Langley’s Ike Thiessen across the finish line.

Ike Thiessen knows how to celebrate Father’s Day.

The 89-year-old Langley resident will surround himself with some beautiful women and allow himself to be wined and dined at one of his favourite local eateries.

But none of that could happen today until after he suited up and hit the track near his Murrayville seniors home on Sunday morning.

It’s not just that this elderly man is endeavours to stay in shape by walking or running the community track – although he does that, running at least five days a week with a warm up and stretch incorporated in his regular routine.

This is a lifetime athlete who actually joined about 1,000 or so other track and field competitors from around the province at McLeod Ahtletic Park on Sunday, for the conclusion of the Langley Mustangs Track & Field Club’s 39th annual Pacific Invitational.

And this young-at-heart area resident was there to compete in the master’s 100-metre dash.

He’s a regular at this track meet, and it was apparent as much of the crowd in the bleachers roared and cheered extra loud as he passed the half-way mark of his run. His granddaughter, Spencer, and his daughter, Diane, were waiting at the finish line to give him hugs and congratulations.

“I don’t know if this will be my last race or not, but it’s getting pretty close,” Thiessen told the Langley Advance just minutes after he completed the race.

He admitted he was late to pick up the sport, and that might explain why he’s so reluctant to give out.

Thiessen explained how he didn’t even take up track until he was 64.

He was competing in a baseball tournament during the Seniors Games a few decades back. Between games, he camped out on the sidelines of the track, and watched some of the races.

“I thought, I can do that too,” Thiessen recounted. With what his family calls a strong sense of will and commitment, that’s exactly what he did.

He returned home and immediately went to work training, not only for racing but for the javelin and the hammer throw – which he just gave up this year.

“It was getting a bit much,” he said of the hammer throw, but noted he is still active in curls during the winter months.

And, of course, Thiessen is still running, as well.

“Just short distances, sprints mostly. Warm up and stretch, and sprints,” he explained, admitting he not racing the clock anymore, but still anxious to prove to himself and the world that he can make it across the finish line.

He might be getting close to give up the competitive aspect of running soon, but he’ll contemplate his athletic future another time.

For now, he said, he’ll focus the rest of his day on his family and on being treated to a Father’s Day celebration.

READ MORE: Athletes from six to 91 compete in Langley this weekend

 

Just Posted

Surrey-Langley curlers in the running again for gold

Junior men’s team out of Langley hopes to defend its world title Sunday, going up against Switzerland

VIDEO: Giants earn 40th victory in a 4-0 triumph over Victoria

Vancouver G-Men move within a point of clinching the B.C. division banner at Friday’s at-home game

Developers to unveil plan to transform Aldergrove mall into new town centre

Community to find out new Aldergrove Town Centre plan for dormant 10-acre lot in heart of downtown.

Man sentenced for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

Tardi and team playoff bound in junior curling worlds tonight

Friday night Team Canada’s men’s team faces off against Norway, hoping to secure a spot in the finals

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

B.C. weavers to help Alaska Native project honouring survivors of violence

Dozens of Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from all over North America will be weaving 5-inch-by-5-inch squares

B.C. skip Sarah Wark and team eliminated at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Nontheless pretty impressive stuff from the 24th-ranked team in the country

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

Most Read