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Superman Joe wins two golds

Joe Lewis, 81, won the 1500m and 5000m titles in the 80-85 age group at the Australian Masters Championships.
Joe Lewis, 81, won the 1500m and 5000m titles in the 80-85 age group at the Australian Masters Championships. Claudia Baxter

SOME 81-year-olds tend to the garden, others crochet and many more relax and read books, but not Joe Lewis. He wins gold medals.

The Silkstone octogenarian recently returned from the Australian Masters Games in Melbourne two gold medals heavier after beating off his competition in the 80-85 years 1500m and 5000m races.

It's hardly surprising this golden oldie is getting better with age when you hear what he does to stay in shape.

A typical day for Joe includes two 4km road runs and 500 push-ups - not bad for a bloke who didn't take up running until after his 50th birthday.

After collecting medals at state championships for many years, the Australian Masters wins were Joe's first, and according to him there's plenty more to come.

"I killed 'em," Joe said of his medal winning efforts. "I was a champion. I won by the length of the straight.

"They're my first golds at the Australian Masters Games but I plan to keep going for at least the next 10 years."

Like a fine red wine Joe is proof some things get better with age, and he reminds people it's never too late to start something new.

"I started running when I turned 50 because I was run down and feeling terrible," he said.

"So I went in a fun run and I just kept going as the years went on.

"I haven't stopped running. I run six days a week now."

Anyone who has spent any length of time pounding the pavement in the name of fitness knows how hard it is on the body.

So how are Joe's 81-year-old knees faring?

"They were good up until last year, but in last year's 800m race at the Australian titles the knee went on me for the first time ever," he said.

"I was about six months getting over it but it is as good as gold now."

It seems nothing can keep this action man down.

The former self employed barber still works two days a week at the Coorparoo barber shop now owned by his son.

On Monday nights Joe plays A-grade table tennis, and keeps himself busy during the days perfecting his other trade as a magician.

JOE'S SECRET

  • Joe runs 8km six days a week in the streets around Silkstone.
  • He also does 500 push-ups a day broken up into 10 sets of 50.
  • Joe has never drunk alcohol or smoked in his life.

Topics:  gold medals




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