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93-year-old takes gold in National Senior Games

In the 90-to-94-year-old age category, Cottonwood resident Betty Gaudy finished in first place in the 50-meter race at the 2019 National Senior Games in Albuquerque. Photo courtesy Glenna Gaudy

In the 90-to-94-year-old age category, Cottonwood resident Betty Gaudy finished in first place in the 50-meter race at the 2019 National Senior Games in Albuquerque. Photo courtesy Glenna Gaudy

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Cottonwood resident Betty Gaudy, 93, shows off her awards for finishing in first place in the 50-meter race at the 2019 National Senior Games in Albuquerque. VVN/Bill Helm

COTTONWOOD – Five times, Betty Gaudy has qualified to compete in the National Senior Games. With this year’s events held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Gaudy was able to compete.

On June 17, Gaudy finished first in the 50-meter race in the 90-to-94-year-old age category, but she said that she “could have done better had I practiced more.”

“The altitude in Albuquerque, and the wind was against me,” the Cottonwood resident said. “But I’m satisfied with what I got.”

Running 50 meters in 17 seconds isn’t bad – when you’re a 93-year-old. But Gaudy has been running since the 1980s when she started doing two-mile runs in Clarkdale, and also used to participate in the Prescott and Flagstaff senior games qualifiers. Now, Gaudy goes to Phoenix each year to qualify.

Thanks to one daughter in Cottonwood and another in Farmington, New Mexico, Gaudy was able to get to the games and had a place to stay.

“My kids sure are pleased that I won,” she said.

Glenna Gaudy, who lives in Cottonwood near her mother, said that she and all of her sisters “are proud of her running accomplishments.”

“She has, and always will be an inspiration to us,” Glenna Gaudy said.

All my sisters are proud of her running accomplishments. She has, and always will be an inspiration to us.

Gaudy still likes the competition of running, and she walks “over a mile” each day – depending on the weather.

Born in 1985 as the National Senior Olympics Organization, the National Senior Games Association is a non-profit organization with the purpose of motivating active adults to lead a healthy lifestyle through the senior games.

A 20-sport, biennial competition for men and women 50 and older, the National Senior Games is the largest multi-sport event in the world for seniors.

Each year, senior citizens compete in categories such as archery, basketball, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, pickleball, softball, swimming, track and field, and triathlon/tri-relay.

To learn more about the National Senior Games Association, visit nsga.com.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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