Bach, 91, wins gold at National Senior GamesWeather delayed Harold Bach’s quest for a gold medal Wednesday. But it didn’t keep him from capturing what he called the most meaningful win of his competitive running career.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Weather delayed Harold Bach’s quest for a gold medal Wednesday.
But it didn’t keep him from capturing what he called the most meaningful win of his competitive running career.
Bach, a 91-year-old from Dickinson, won the 100-meter dash in the 90-and-older division of the 2011 National Senior Games in Houston.
Bach ran a time of 22.29 seconds, beating five other competitors by nearly four full seconds, for his first victory on a national level. He has won several medals on state and regional levels in the past.
“Everything worked out pretty good,” Bach said in a telephone interview. “It was one of my goals. I’ve been to a lot of states and got a lot of medals, but it just didn’t mean as much as when you get a national medal.”
Rain and lightning pushed back the race’s start time from early morning to the early afternoon.
“Every time it would lightning they would postpone it for another half-hour,” Bach said. “Once, I was on the line waiting for the gun to go and all of a sudden, over the loudspeaker, they announced it was lightning. It was an unusually situation but everything turned out good.”
Bach is scheduled to run the 400 meters today.
“That’s one of your harder races, more endurance and everything,” said Carla Hillard, Bach’s daughter who is with him in Houston. “He thought he’d give it a try and see how he does.”
Bach didn’t take up running competitively until he was 72.
Six years ago, he underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatments following a lymphoma diagnosis. He returned to running as soon as he was healthy again.
This is Bach’s first trip to the National Senior Games.
Bach said he may have been fortunate to win since he is at an age where there are fewer competitors.
“I’m getting up in that age bracket where there’s not an awful lot of runners,” he said. “I figured I’d have a pretty good chance at it.”
The oldest man in Bach’s race, John Zilverberg, a 98-year-old from Highmore, S.D., was the final finisher. He crossed the finish line in a time of 36.64 seconds.