Back problems don’t slow down 82-year-old runner


SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — A Sioux Falls athlete is making great strides in overcoming back problems that could have put an end to his passion for long-distance running. We caught up with this veteran marathoner, who’s still leading the field, at the age of 82.

Tim Royse’s two feet have taken him all over the world.

“This is Iceland,” Royse said.

Royse has a backpack full of medals from races he’s competed in across the globe. He ran a half-marathon on the Great Wall of China when he was 77.

“I had to hold onto the wall as I went down some of the steps in certain areas,” Royse said.

And he felt a special kinship with the waddling wildlife during a race in the Antarctic.

“I found out I’m related to a penguin,” Royse said.

But all those years of long-distance running started catching-up with Royse about four years ago, when he started having trouble walking.

“So that was Tim’s big issue is he had so much rotation in these hip bones when he would try to go and walk and to run, they couldn’t move and flex like they needed to and that was giving him problems,” Highest Health Chiropractic owner Nate DeJong said.

Royse has been undergoing weekly adjustments at Highest Health Chiropractic in Sioux Falls. He says the sessions have greatly improved his mobility.

“I think of it as a tire out of alignment. So now I come here for my alignments,” Royse said.

With still plenty of tread left on this tire, Royse is training to race again and compete in a triple-jump when he’s 85! This longtime marathoner, who’s run courses on all seven continents, has new worlds to conquer.

“As you get older, the definition of running, you can change it and hopefully, you have the ability to accept it,” Royse said.

DeJong says while running is very beneficial for your health, over time, the constant motion can put a strain on your lower back and pelvis.

Royse says he enjoys the solitude of running, and says he often gets lost running in foreign countries, where it’s difficult to ask for directions, when you don’t speak the language.

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