Devoted Retiree Accidentally Becomes World Record Athlete

USATODAY_HumankindPublished: August 17, 2017152 views
Published: August 17, 2017

You have probably seen race walkers before and thought about how funny they look. We used to think that too until we met Darlene Backlund. She was retired and happily race walking around the country with her husband when she accidentally became a world record-breaking athlete! Talk about a success story!

She agreed to generously share some tips about race walking. There are two simple rules to successful race walking. The first rule being that one foot must be on the ground at all times, i.e. it cannot be lifted in the air. The second rule is that when your forward foot hits the ground your knee must be straight until it passes the vertical. Keep these in mind if you want to become successful athlete!
This amazing retiree now averages 12 minutes and 49 seconds per mile and is seventy years of age. However, that didn’t stop Darlene from becoming a fierce competitor. “I hope to outlive my competition” jokes Darlene.

It is amazing that her husband is her biggest fan and best coach. He supported her and truly believed that she could actually break the 40k i.e. 25 miles American record, so she did! Meet Darlene Backlund she is the World’s Racewalking Champion.

When she started race walking 20 years ago she never imagined that one day she will break the world record and become champion! However, practice makes perfect and Darlene is now the fastest female in the world for 65-69 year olds and she just turned 70!

Now she has a whole new age group to beat so we wish her the best of luck!

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