At 45, Zola Budd Continues To Run Strong

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Jul. 7, 2011
  • Updated Feb. 19, 2013 at 8:46 AM UTC
At 45, Zola Budd is still competing on the world stage. Photo: The New York Times

At 45, Zola Budd is still competing on the world stage. Photo: The New York Times

She placed second in the 8K at the World Masters Championships yesterday.

The former world-record holder in the 5,000m is back on the track. This time, Zola Budd Pieterse–once known for her barefoot racing style–is competing in the World Masters Athletics Championships in Sacramento. Yesterday, she raced the 8K event (with shoes on).

After the race, spectators came up to her and asked for her autograph.

At 45, Budd is now a volunteer track coach at Coastal Carolina University. “Today we were having fun, and there isn’t the same pressure as with other international competitions,” she said. “I feel privileged to be out here, and am glad I can promote the sport responsibly. It’s great to see people of all ages competing and to be a part of that.”

In the 8K race, Budd was able to finish second overall in 29:19, coming in 28 seconds behind Spain’s Soledad Castro Solino.

“Running is a part of my life,” she said afterwards. “Lots of people tell athletes you can only compete if you are good enough, if you are the fastest. To me, it’s different. This event shows how running can be a part of your whole life, and how you can use running as a tool to improve it.”

For More: Fresno Bee

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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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