August 2, 2017 – Yvonne Aasen began running when she was 46 after her late husband had a heart attack. Part of his therapy was to walk four miles per day. She walked with him for six weeks then gradually started to run, increasing her distance over time. Yvonne ran her first 10K the following spring.
“I’ve always wanted to run,” Yvonne said from the living room of her Carroll Lutheran Village home, which contains two display cases packed with trophies and medals won in various races over the years. “It’s good stewardship to take care of my body,” she said. “It helps keep me healthy and keeps my weight stable.”
Yvonne belongs to two running clubs – the Westminster Roadrunners and the Annapolis Striders. Fifteen years ago she ran 42 races in one year – that’s almost one race per week! “When I was 70 I was young and strong,” she said with a playful grin. In addition to the variety of races that are offered, Yvonne enjoys the social aspects of running as well. She enjoys meeting new people at the races she attends.
In June, Yvonne competed in the National Senior Olympics in Birmingham, Alabama, winning gold in all four of her events: 400 meters, 800 meters, 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters in the 85-89 age group. She made the trip with two fellow members of the Annapolis Striders.
To qualify for the national competition, which is held every other year, a contestant must medal in the prior year’s state senior Olympics. In the summer of 2016 Yvonne competed in the Maryland Senior Olympics and medaled in the 400 meter, 800 meter, 1500 meter, 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter events. She chose not to compete in the 10,000 meter race in Birmingham because it was on the same day as the 1,500 meter race.
Today, Yvonne still runs twice a week, works out at the gym two days a week and walks at least a mile the remaining days. She’s staying in shape and plans to compete in the Maryland Senior Olympics in August 2017 and 2018, with hopes of qualifying for the 2019 National Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Running’s not for everyone,” Yvonne admits. “It’s important to find something that appeals to you to stay active.”
Click here to see the Carroll County Times profile of Yvonne.