Runner, 71, not about to put on the brakes
He continued to excel in competitive running events in both high school and college, setting the New York state record for the 440-yard dash in 1959 and becoming a two-time All-American Hall-of-Famer in cross country in college. These experiences ignited a passion for competitive running that has helped Clarke stay spry in his senior years.
Although Clarke says he became sedentary after college, he began running competitively again at age 60, collecting medals and records as if he'd never missed a beat. Now 71, Clarke is a regular competitor in the Senior Olympics and at USA Masters Track and Field events. He's currently ranked third in the country for his age group, a rating he achieved by running the 100-meter dash in 13.6 seconds.
"I am the only one in the country who is the most versatile," Clarke said. "Either you're a sprinter or you're a distance runner, and I run both. No sprinter runs over 400 meters, and no distance runner comes down from a mile to run less than 400 meters. I run every event at every track meet."
Clarke has also enjoyed a successful career in finance. He worked as a banker in New York before moving to Texas in 1967, where he worked for Frost Bank for a number of years before moving on to the WFA Group. In his current position in regional sales, Clarke does quite a bit of traveling, which gives him the opportunity to compete in track meets all across the country.
"I market and visit bankers, and then I try to attend a track meet on Saturday and compete, and then come home," he said.
Clarke last competed in the Oklahoma Senior Olympics in Shawnee, Okla., in October. Because he doesn't care for running indoors, he won't compete again until March 2013.
When he's at home in Kingwood, Clarke works out on the track at Kingwood High School and other local schools five or six times a week. He credits his high-intensity workouts with helping his body produce the hormones that keep him looking young and feeling great.
ABOUT Pete Clarke
OCCUPATION: Houston regional sales for WFA Group
COMMUNITY CONNECTION: Kingwood resident
FAST FACT: Clarke is a Marine Corps veteran
Megan Mattingly-Arthur is a freelance writer. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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