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Thursday, July 27, 2017 12:16 am

Letters to the Editor 7/27/17

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RACE DISCRIMINATION
Publications aimed at senior citizens are constantly reminding us about the importance of getting in and staying in shape through programs of regular exercise. And there is no better way to stay fit than to always be looking forward to one’s next competition. I’m talking about racing, whether it be a local 5K, 10K or triathlon. Oddly enough, these races, which purport to promote health and charity, discriminate against senior citizens.

Races generally offer first, second and third-place prizes for competitors based upon five-year age groups. For example, female runners from age 30 to 34 would be considered an age group. Similarly, male runners between 45 and 49 years of age would be a separate age group.

The problem starts at age 60. Many races lump all competitors 60 years and older into a single age group, thus discriminating against them, and I would say discouraging them from participating. It is difficult for a 70 or 75-year-old to compete with a 60-year-old in a race. It is also unfair! Forty-year-olds compete in five-year age brackets. Why shouldn’t 70-year-olds, or 80-year-olds compete in five-year age brackets?

People may read this and ask what the big deal is? Who cares about a plaque or medal that may only have a value of $2? If you have ever raced, or competed in anything, you know that the real value is in the recognition you receive when you step forward among your peers and receive the reward for your performance. You don’t get to do that if you are 70 and three 60-year-olds beat you in a race in a “60 and over” age group.

The irony comes when we look at the sponsors of these age-discriminatory races. Usually one of the key sponsors is a major hospital in the area. These are the same hospitals that offer exercise programs for senior citizens and publish bulletins about senior citizen fitness. If they could encourage race organizers to include five-year age brackets for senior citizens, beyond age 60, perhaps more seniors would be encouraged to participate. And isn’t that everyone’s ultimate objective?

John Brubaker
Chatham


Note: John Brubaker, 70, has competed in 50 triathlons over the last 10 years.



WERE YOU THINKING?

To all of you Trump critics out there: Let’s give credit where credit is due. Donald Trump, with his incessant tweeting and limited range of vocabulary, has done at least one thing for us . . . shown us what it would be like to have an adolescent in the White House.  

His inability to put away what seems to be an addiction to tweeting, even at the urging of advisers, is both astonishing and embarrassing; and the depth of his ability to describe people, places and things, including diplomats and presidents, seems to be limited to adjectives like “terrific” or “nice.”  World leaders surely must be scratching their heads over this enigma named Trump.

My son was visiting in Scotland a few weeks ago and shared that he was asked this question by one host when she found out that he was from the U.S.: “What in the world were you people thinking when you elected Donald Trump?”

Bill McGee
Springfield


MIDDLE EAST WARS
This is a taboo subject for the mainline news and politicians, but someone should point out that we have spent an estimated 10 trillion dollars on war in the Middle East since we invaded Iraq and destabilized the whole region. We still have a massive military there, spending more money each day with no end in sight. Many programs here at home have been cut because of it, our infrastructure is crumbling for the same reason, and there is not enough money to give all people good medical care.

If you’re looking for the reasons for our woes, start with our Middle East wars.

Tom Ferrari
Tovey

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