Bob McAdam spent Thanksgiving like millions of Americans. He woke up, ran in a local Turkey Trot, chowed down with his family and napped. But, he’s one of the few who set a new world record in the process. The 97-year-old, who is legally blind, ran the fastest 5K of anyone 95 years or older when he crossed the finish line at the Highlands Ranch Turkey Trot in Colorado in 48 minutes and 33 seconds.
According to CBS Denver, McAdam is a WWII veteran with a doctorate in physical education, and he took up running once he retired because he wanted to stay in shape for racquetball (he’s a member of the National Masters Racquetball Association Hall of Fame, by the way).
It was Gina Muaau , a fitness coordinator at his retirement home, who encouraged him to hop on the treadmill and train for the Turkey Trot.
“I said I can’t do that, I’m legally blind and afraid of potholes and curbs,” Bob McAdam explained. “She said I’ll be your eyes and I’ll run with you. So she did.”
McAdam ran in the Highlands Ranch Turkey Trot in 2015 and 2016, too, but his times didn’t qualify as world records because the course wasn’t certified. However, this year it is.
“He’s miraculous,” one of his sons, Brian McAdam, told KUSA. “He’s setting a new standard for what 97-year-olds can do. He’s remarkable, there’s nothing artificial about him, his own knees his own hips, his own effort.”
He impressed his grandchildren, too.
“We’re all really proud of him,” his 12-year-old granddaughter, Faith McAdam, said. “And whatever would have happened today, we’d love him just as much.”
McAdam served in the US Army Air Corps and then taught kinesiology at the University of Illinois, where he was also a basketball, tennis and gymnastics coach, according to Runner’s World.
He recently lost his wife of 69 years, but he’s trying to press on as best as he can.
“I feel like people my age sometimes begin to give up a little bit instead of looking forward to each day and trying to do what they can,” he told KUSA.
As for next Thanksgiving? He has his sights set on a faster time, because why not? Bob McAdam is on a roll.