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Forever Young founder offers advice to newcomers

By The Canadian Press

Published 3:03 PDT, Fri September 6, 2019

The founding father of the Forever Young 8k has some sage advice for those first-timers at Sunday’s annual seniors’ trek: the fun part comes first.

“I am old but I am forever young at heart. We are always the same age inside. Know that you are the perfect age. Each year is special and precious; you can only live it once. Do not regret growing older, it’s a privilege denied to many!” 

—Richard Gere

The founding father of the Forever Young 8k has some sage advice for those first-timers at Sunday’s annual seniors’ trek: the fun part comes first.

John Young, who along with his wife Joan started the Richmond run (an off-shoot of their enormously popular Forever Young Club) five years ago to meet increasing interest  for such an event for the 55-plus age group. But, he cautions, before joining use your own or doctor’s judgment to determine if you are fit enough to walk or run for an hour. You should also have at least one more cardio workout per week.

“Consistency is the key to fitness,” he says. “You should also have at least one more cardio workout per week.”

The event promotes the inner champion and active senior living. It’s a day when being committed to fitness for life is celebrated. Funds raised at the 8k help support the Dream On Seniors Wish foundation.

The Forever Young club itself is a group of mainly seniors, but all ages are welcome, says John Young.

The group meets at 8:30 a.m. weekdays, with participants usually on their way along their chosen route by 8:35 so punctuality is appreciated.

“Come early if you want to warm up before running,” he suggests. “A few people do. Otherwise, you can start out slow and easy for the first five minutes before taking your normal pace.”

There are 10 kilometre routes for runners, and shorter five to eight kilometre treks for the walkers—which account for about two-thirds of the participants.

“We have many pace groups of varying speeds and abilities,” he says.

The group usually finishes the run or walk by 9:45 a.m. and meets for coffee afterwards from 10:30 or 11 a.m.

Membership is free, but organizers ask that a participant’s agreement form is signed.

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