Age-Group Ace Sam Hirabayashi Dies At 84

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jul. 1, 2011
Sam Hirabayashi (right) will be remembered for his smile and positive racing attitude. Photo:

Sam Hirabayashi (right) will be remembered for his smile and positive racing attitude. Photo:

He didn’t take up racing until he was 70 years old.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that competitive octogenarian Sam Hirabayashi has died at the age of 84. When he was 80, Hirabayashi completed the Boston Marathon. He didn’t begin racing competitively until he was 70 years old. Mr. Hirabayashi was a member of Marin County California’s Tamalpa runners and had competed in Mill Valley’s challenging Dipsea Race on several occassions.

Throughout his late-starting running career, he amassed numerous awards and trophies. Into his late 70s, he was running 30 miles a week.

“Sam was competitive in the nicest way possible. Whenever he finished a race, he would be grinning from ear to ear,” said his wife, Eve Pell.

The two had met through the Marin running community and married in 2008.

“He gave off a vibe of being positive, kind and very alive,” Pell said. “The amazing thing about Sam is that everyone from orderlies to tycoons adored him.”

Though an American citizen, Hirabayashi was relocated to internment camps during World War 2 in California and Wyoming.

For More: SF Gate

FILED UNDER: Boston Marathon / News TAGS: / / / / / / / /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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