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At 70, Fast Eddie is still on the run

Edward Rousseau

Upper Bottle Lake cabin dweller "Fast Eddie" Rousseau, having reached the 70-year milestone, is showing no sign of hanging up the tennies.

Au contraire!

The septuagenarian sees turning 70 as an opportunity to set new records, including the Ultracentric 72-hour race held recently in Texas.

Rousseau said he views the races and long training runs - of up to 6 hours - as "enjoyable."

"Turning 70 provided me with targets of records in the Masters 70-74 (age) division," he said.

He'd celebrated his birthday in a 10K race in Walker, breaking the course record for runners over 70 by three minutes. He took third in the Marathon National Masters Championship in the 70-74 age division in early October.

 In late November, he headed south to the Lone Star State.

 "What a race!" he reported.  He'd set his sights on a number of records in the three-day race, earning the 12-hour U.S. Masters 70-74 (age group) record with 58 miles. But a pounding rain took him off the course for two hours.

"I missed the 24- hour record. But I kept pushing," he said.

With no sleep and more rain during night two, he still managed to break the 48-hour U.S. Masters 70-74 age group record with 156 miles.

Finally, hallucinating and staggering around at 3 a.m. of night three, he slept three hours and came back to finish with 205 miles.

There is no published U.S. record or world record for 72 hours, he said. But he's confident - "it's almost a certainty" - the U.S. record was broken, and maybe both.

He took second place overall in the race, highest on record for a 70-year-old in this event.

 Days after his victory, he was proclaiming the agony of de-feet. "They were still swollen like pontoons and very sore."

 Now his eye is on training and running snowshoe races, preparing for the Snowshoe 10K Nationals in March.

Then, he'll swap the snowshoes for tennis shoes and train for the USA 100K Road Running National Championship Race in April, with aspirations to break the national 100K record for men in the Masters 70-74 age division.

"My competitive juices just keep flowing."