matt carpenter – pushing his limits at 44

Ran across an article in the New York Times a short while ago.  The headline caught my eye.  It was “At 44, a Running Career Again in Ascent”.  My first thought was, “how did they find out about me?” :).

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/sports/othersports/24runner.html?_r=1

It’s definitely a good read.  Matt Carpenter is an amazing physical specimen, essentially a giant lung, capable of running high speed, at high altitude.  He lives in the shadow of Pike’s Peak, but has a VO2 max that is the highest measured for a runner.  Ever.  That means his body is capable of delivering more oxygen to his muscles that anyone else.  By the way, his VO2 max is about 12% higher than Lance Armstrong’s.

His storyline is interesting, because it seems genuine.  Had some family challenges growing up, and like to run up mountains to tell his late mom that he’s still thinking about her.  He ran successfully for years, rattling off victories and setting records when running at altitude.  He lost his sponsorship and got married early in this decade.  Now he’s trying to prove to himself and others that being 44 isn’t too old to run fast.  As he says in the accompanying short film, “there’s nothing like beating a 20 year old guy”. 

I hope to find out what that’s like someday.

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