Age is just a number for trailblazer Carol Lafayette-Boyd of Regina. Earlier this month she broke a new world record and is the world’s fastest 80-year-old woman.
It was her 13th world record to date, she crossed the finish line in 34.90 seconds in the 200-metre race, beating the previous world record by nearly half a second.
“It’s satisfying to know that I can do better in my age group than I did last week. So it’s just nice to have the records,” Lafayette-Boyd said.
She said that she trains with wonderful coaches who are young because she works out with the under-16 group, she said. “They expect us to perform almost as much as the under 16 do.”
Lafayette-Boyd grew up in Rosetown and now lives in Regina. She’s also a great-grandmother and adored in the track and field community.
Before she turned 50, Lafayette-Boyd and her husband thought old people can only run long-distance races like marathons and miles. “We thought we would try a mile and we were working on that when I discovered that there is a Canadian Masters game’s going to be in Regina,” she said.
When she found out that seniors can do track and field, she signed up and won her first two races for 100 and 200 metres.
“I was hooked. In 1996, there was an Olympian in our track club, Don Antoine, and she was going to the Olympics in Atlanta. And I said to myself — I’m going to learn to run like LaDonna, and I did.”
Lafayette-Boyd has no plans to hang up her spikes. She sees herself competing for decades to come.
When asked how she prepares for an upcoming race, she said, “I feel I’m always in shape because my faith in God keeps me spiritually ready. I consider myself mentally aware, but physically I try to eat and sleep.”
She added that one of the things she tries to do every day unless she has to rush out the door is a stretch every morning, which takes about half an hour, as well as planks. She said that she could plank for three seconds when she began but now she can hold it for 90 seconds.
Lafayette-Boyd said that she is spending time with her family and grandchildren right now. Beginning September, she will start preparing for indoor races because there’s an opportunity to break some indoor records.
“So I’m going to get myself more in shape and start eating and sleeping properly so that I’ll be ready.”
— With files from Teagan Rasche.
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