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90-year-old runner bests time in Cherry Blossom 5K by 2 minutes

Dixon Hemphill competes. (WJLA photo)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – Dixon Hemphill is getting faster with age.

“I just have a love for the sport,” the long-distance runner said. “Having run for so many years, I’m addicted to it—no question about it.”

Hemphill is 90. On Sunday, he ran in the Cherry Blossom 5K.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tired,” he said.

Hemphill took up running 40 years ago, when he was 50. He has been derailed by injury and detoured by a new hip, but never deterred. And Sunday, he finished the 5K in a time of 47:01—two minutes faster than his time in last year’s race.

“[Sunday] at the race, many people saw me running and they just came up to me and said ‘Congratulations’ and ‘Keep going!’ and … one of them asked my age in the middle of the race and she immediately turned to her friends and said, ‘This guy’s 90 years old!’ and everybody turned around and shouted and so forth—so, it inspires me,” he said.

Added Hemphill: “I think I'll keep at this for a number of years. I really do. I don’t see any reason why I’m going to suddenly stop.”

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