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Roberts runs her way to nationals

Roberts runs her way to nationals

Roberts runs her way to nationals

Statesboro's Lois Roberts competes in...

    For Statesboro’s Lois Roberts, a nice run is just another walk in the park.
    Last month, Roberts, 71, participated in the 5K run at the National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio. Roberts qualified for the national competition last summer after turning in one of the best times for her age group during the Georgia Games competition held in Warner Robins.
    At nationals, Roberts turned in a time of 36:24 – good for 12th in her group.
    “It’s all about setting goals and then meeting those goals,” Roberts said. “I really wasn’t sure how well I would do even at the state level. I just wanted to challenge myself and do my best. It was great to qualify for the national competition and compete against some of the best.”
    For being such an accomplished runner, Roberts is still pretty new to the game. Competitive running had never been Roberts’ passion until her brother motivated her to take it up a decade ago.
    Roberts jumped right into the deep end and hasn’t looked back. She quickly took to the sport and has been pushing herself to bigger and better things from the get-go.
    “I just wanted to keep getting better,” Roberts said. “I really enjoyed it after I got started. I just wanted to keep advancing in what I could do and how well I could run. I just kept challenging myself and I was very excited to be able to qualify to run in the national games.”
    Before taking up running, Roberts served as director of the Statesboro Regional Library. Not one to let retirement get in the way of new accomplishments, she is now taking classes at Georgia Southern University, working towards a degree in health education and promotion.
    For Roberts, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of limit for when anyone can stop learning new things or take on new challenges. The simple joy of pushing herself to athletic success or striving to educate herself in a field she is interested in is half of the fun.
    “I’ve always liked taking on new challenges,” Roberts said. “I don’t think that retirement or some certain age should keep anyone from doing something different. It’s never too late to start getting healthy and start exercising. And it’s never too late to start getting involved in something that you have a lot of interest in.”
    Roberts was very pleased with her showing at the national games and is already looking to the future. Held every other year, the 2015 games are scheduled to be held in Minneapolis, Minn. Roberts is ready for next summer’s Georgia qualifying and expects to be able to compete against the best in the nation once again.
    “I’m really excited to do it again,” Roberts said. “I know that there are a lot of great runners out there. But that’s what excites me. That’s the challenge. I always try to do a little better and I always try to run a little faster.”

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.

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