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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Deirdre Larkin joins RunZone as new brand ambassador

It all started with a pair of shoes. When Graham Block noticed that one of his most loved runners was running in an old pair of shoes he decided to ask why. It turns out that 89 year old Deirdre Larkin had been running in the same pair of shoes for 8 years. Although she did have another pair, that five year-old was reserved exclusively for races. Even though the celebrated age group world record holder was an honorary lifetime member of Randburg Harriers, as the chairman of RunZone, Block felt he had to intervene.

89-year old Larkin turns 90 on the 24th of September and is still running strong. Photo Credit: RunZone.

"Deidre has been coming to RunZone since the lockdown started," he explained during a telephonic conversation with #TheTopRunner. "So when I saw the condition of her running shoes, I spoke to her daughter who told me that Deidre's income had been affected by the lockdown," he said. You see in addition to holding 10km and 21km world records for octogenarians, Larkin also worked as a piano teacher. But that all came to an abrupt halt when Covid-19 hit.

"Her daughter told me of Deirdre's struggles so we decided to do something about it. Our sponsor iFloors Africa came on board with new shoes as well as a monthly stipend for her. Deirdre was so grateful for our help that she decided to join RunZone," said Block. But it doesn't end there because so inspiring is the story of the 89 year old runner who only started running to combat osteoporosis when she was 78, that RunZone have decided to partner with the Heart and Stroke Foundation to use their newest member as an ambassador for healthy living.

"Deirdre turns in 90 on September 24th so we decided we have to celebrate this milestone. We have partnered with the Heart and Stroke Foundation to deliver a series of runs where Deirdre will share the secret to longevity and good health," he said. The Heart Run Summer Series is a series of three 5km, 10km and 21km virtual races taking place on the 19th and 26th of September and the 3rd of October.

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